What Is the Function of the Pectoral Fin?

Pectoral fins are used for balancing and braking. In some species, they are used for jumping and gliding over the surface of the water. The pectoral fins are located behind the gills of a fish.

Depending on the animal, the pectoral fin has different purposes. In sharks, pectoral fins may assist in maintaining depth. In flying fish, the fins enable the ability to maintain flight. Pectoral fins may be used for walking, as is the case of the anglerfish and mudskipper. The anterior portion of the pectoral fin is modified in manta rays to give a structure known as a cephalic fin.