How do Fish Swim? Finally We Know The Reality

If you swim, you might’ve wondered, “Why do I get so tired, but fishes keep on swimming hassle-free?” Fishes have to live in water their whole life. So, by nature, their design is the best to keep them there. So now you are going to know about “how do fish swim.”

You, on the other hand, are best adapted to live on land. However, fishes have to do their best to live underwater.

So, today you’re going to find out the way fishes swim, and effortlessly so. Let’s dive in!

How do eels and other snake-like fishes swim

First, let’s talk about the fishes that don’t look typical. Nonetheless, they are fishes.

Related: Biggest Fish in the World

Eels are snake-like fishes, and their movement in water is also like snakes. Although their movement is very slow, they still put a lot of effort into it.

It may seem that they have no fins. However, they have a very small one at the end of the body. It is not very useful in helping them move.

What moves the eels is the propulsion which forms a wave-like pattern. The propulsion comes from their bodies as they push themselves through the water.

How do other fishes swim?

Who fast fish can swim

Fishes have a streamlined body. It makes them super-effective against the water currents. Additionally, they have their tails, or caudal fins, which help provide the “push” underwater.

Also, there are other fins, and some of them are in pairs. However, their job is not to push, but to steer the fish in the direction it wants to go. In total, there are five types of fins.

  • Pectoral fins: These fins are present in pairs and right behind the face of the fish. In comparison, they are much like our arms or forelimbs of other animals. Pectoral fins help in setting the direction of the fish.
  • Pelvic fins: The pelvic fins are present on the underside of the fish. Like the pectoral fins, they are present in pairs and help in locomotion by controlling the direction.
  • Dorsal fin: The dorsal fin is long and at the back of the fish. They help the fish in taking sharp turns, and by preventing them from rolling.

However, the sunfish is an exception in which they, along with the anal fin, propel the fish.

  • Anal fin: Anal fins are present on the underside, at the back of the anus. Their purpose is to keep the fish stable against the current.
  • Caudal fin: You can simply call it the tail. It is at the back of the fish and the main source of force which propels the fish.

Now that you know what the fins are and what they do, let’s see how the fishes swim.

First, the fish flexes its body back and forth. Consequently, the caudal fin also motions to generate a wave-like force. The force pushes the fish forward. The rest of the fins help to stabilize the body and steer it in the direction where the fish wants to go. These are complete things about who do fish swim.

Fun Fact: A group of fish is called a school or shoal.


1. Why do fishes swim in schools?

Fish have it in their genes to protect themselves from predators. Traveling in schools helps them in doing so. Also, In a group, they can better search for food and swim efficiently.

2. Can fishes swim without fins?

Fishes can swim without the fins by exerting a force within their bodies. However, they’d be slow without them.

Hopefully now you get the ans of this BIG question “Who Do Fish Swim” If you want to read more about fishes visit Petshoods.