A Barbel on a fish is a slender, whiskerlike tactile organ near the mouth. Fish that have barbels include the catfish, the carp, the goatfish, sturgeon, and some species of shark. They house the taste buds of such fish and are used to search for food in murky water.
Barbels are often erroneously referred to as 'barbs', which are found in bird feathers for flight.
Barbels may be located in a variety of places. Maxillary barbels refer to barbels on either side of the mouth. Barbels may also be nasal, or extended from the nostrils. Also, barbels are often mandibular or mental, or located on the chin.