Here’s one of the more well known areas of shark anatomy. The fins of a shark are easily recognizable, and immensely important. Most sharks have five different types of fins, while some sharks only have four. These types of fins include:
At the front of the shark (anterior) behind its head, are the pectoral fins. Sharks use these fins to lift and steer them while they swim.
Behind the pectoral fins, are the pelvic fins; these keep the shark stabilized while it swims. In male sharks, pelvic fins are also used as claspers, which are necessary for the reproduction process.
Dorsal fins are the ones that most people are familiar with; these fins are often seen when a shark is at the water’s surface. Oftentimes, sharks have a first and second dorsal fin. These fins are also used for stability during swimming.
For some sharks, these fins are not enough to completely stabilize them. Therefore, the anal fin is present to provide additional stability to the sharks that possess them. The anal fin is located between the pelvic and caudal fins on the bottom, or ventral, part of the shark.
When it comes to the shark having the ability to propel itself through the water, they utilize what is called the caudal fin. This fin, also known as the tail fin, has an upper and lower lobe. The upper lobe of the caudal fin produces the majority of the shark’s thrusting abilities. The tail fin is one of the most important parts of the entire shark anatomy.