Image: Fish Dissection - Cut between pelvic fins

Fish Dissection - Cut between pelvic fins

The incision passes anteriorly between the pelvic (ventral) fins. Depending on the type of fish, these paired fins are used to stabilise the fish when swimming and also for braking. The pelvic fins of the Blue Mackerel are located ventral to (under) the pectoral fins.

The pelvic fins are supported by the bones of the pelvic girdle which are anchored in the belly muscles. Other fishes such as the herrings, family Clupeidae, have pelvic fins located abdominally. The eels have lost their pelvic fins entirely. Male sharks and rays have their pelvic fins modified into claspers, organs used for internal fertilisation. The Eastern Cleaner Clingfish has its pelvic fins modified into a sucking disc.

Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

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Tags fish, blue mackeral, students, Scomber australasicus, dissection, ichthyology, Scombridae,