Coelacanths use their lobed fins, including their pectoral and pelvic fins, for several important functions:
1. Precise Maneuvering: The lobed fins, which resemble limb-like structures, allow coelacanths to perform precise and controlled movements. They can use these fins to adjust their position and navigate through their rocky deep-sea habitat.
2. Stability: The pectoral and pelvic fins provide stability. Coelacanths can adjust the orientation and angle of these fins to maintain balance in the water.
3. Movement: While coelacanths are not fast swimmers, their lobed fins enable them to move with a unique "walking" motion along the seafloor. This method of movement is different from the typical undulating swimming motion of most fish.
4. Defense: Coelacanths can erect the spines in their dorsal fins as a defensive posture when threatened.
Overall, the lobed fins of coelacanths are essential for their survival in their deep-sea environment. They allow for precise movement, stability, and a distinctive method of locomotion that is well-suited to their unique habitat.