Sharks use their fins for many uses. Sharks mostly use their fins for stabilizing, steering, lifting and propelling. Each fin is used for a different purpose.
The size and placement of the fins will depend on the kind of species of shark, too.
Shark fins have been used historically and currently for medical purposes, but also for food. Shark fin soup is a popular delicacy in countries in Asia, and many sharks have their fins cut off for this use.
This can ave the sharks to die a slow death without theirs fins.
How Many Fins Do Sharks Have?
Sharks tend to have five different fins, but this can differ per breed. They have pectoral fins on each side of them, as well as a pelvic fin at the back of their body. Let’s find out about the different types of fins that sharks have.
Sharks have pelvic fins that are closer to the tail, and slightly underneath the body. There is one each side, but they do appear to be underneath. These stabilizing fins are the middle and back supporting fins.
The pectoral fins are situated behind the head of the shark, and there is one on each side. This is the ‘arm’ looking fin that you will see on the side of their body. It is usually quite long and slender.
Depending on the species of shark, there can be one or two of these fins on their body. Most sharks have two. The first dorsal fin is located behind the head, on top of the body.
When you think of the film Jaws, or any depiction of a shark in the water, this is the fin you will think of. This fin sticks out of the water. The second dorsal fin is usually located on top of the body but just in front of the tail.
Not all species of shark have an anal fin, but most of them do. This fin is exactly where you think it may be, and it is below the body, just before the tail.
The caudal fin is actually just the tail of the shark. This is how sharks get their movement skills, and this fin completes the anatomy of the shark.
What Do Sharks Use Their Fins For?
Sharks need their fins to move and swim. Let’s look at the different use for each fin we have mentioned above.
The pelvic fin is used to stabilize the shark, preventing them from rolling over and rolling from side to side. This fin is essentially similar to the stabilizers on a bike!
The pectoral muscles on a human are in their chest, as well as the pectoral fin for a shark. This fin prevents the shark from sinking. This fin acts similar to humans’ arms when we are wading in water.
The dorsal fin (or the pair of fins), keep the shark stay upright in the water, inside of sinking and rolling over. It acts as a spinal stabilizer.
The anal fin stabilizes the shark from the thinner and smaller end. It is the fin that helps the shark stay upright and stable from the back end.
These fins are known as the shark’s tail. These fins do not allow the shark to move backwards, but side to side. This helps the shark move in the ocean.
Can A Shark Survive Without Its Fins?
Sharks can not swim or move without their fins, hence why sharks end up suffering and dying a painful death if their fins get removed for medicine. The fins help stabilize the sharks, and sadly without them, they will sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Can A Shark Regrow Its Fins?
Even though it is a common misconception, sharks cannot regrow their fins. Fins are similar to humans’ limbs, and they will not grow back if they are removed.
Are Sharks Smart?
Sharks are quite intelligent creatures. A lot of people think they are not clever because they have small heads and large bodies, but a smaller brain does not always mean that they are unintelligent. Scientists have found out that sharks are capable of learning, and they are really inquisitive creatures in comparison to a lot of sea life.
Sharks are really interesting creatures. They have five fins, but certain species of sharks may have up to eight fins. Each fin has a different purpose, and they mostly stabilize the shark. Without their fins, sharks would die.
Thank you for reading!
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