Fish Anatomy Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Parts of a Fish
  • 0:24 Fins
  • 0:54 Tail & Gills
  • 1:35 Scales
  • 1:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

What body parts do fish have? How do these unique body parts help them survive in their watery habitats? This lesson will teach you all about the function of a fish's fins, gills, tail, and scales!

Parts of a Fish

Your family just got a pet fish from the pet store. You decided to name him Freddy, and you're excited to learn more about him.

You've noticed that he has some body parts that are just like yours, like eyes and a mouth. But why do fish have fins and tails? Let's learn all about the unique body structure, or anatomy, of your pet fish Freddy.


When Freddy swims, you might notice that he has what look like extra tails on the sides, top, and bottom of his body.

These body parts are called fins, and they help fish to be excellent swimmers. All fish have fins, and most fish have three different types of fins: the dorsal fin on top of their bodies, the pectoral fin on the side of their bodies, and the pelvic fin on the bottom of their bodies. All of Freddy's fins help him control the direction in which he swims - when he swims up to eat his food, that's his fins doing the work!

Tail & Gills

Did you know that a fish's tail is just another kind of fin? Just like the dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fin, Freddy's tail (sometimes called the caudal fin) helps him swim. He uses his tail to help push his body through the water as he moves around.

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