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College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 395

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Short Answer

Birds such as ducks, geese, and swans have greater densities than water, yet they are able to sit on its surface. Explain this ability, noting that water does not wet their feathers and that they cannot sit on soapy water.

Ducks, swans, and geese have several distinctive characteristics that assist them stay aloft on the water's surface. The birds do not have a proclivity for sitting in the soapy water.

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Step by Step Solution

 Step 1: Conceptual Introduction

Fluid statics, often known as hydrostatics, is a branch of fluid mechanics that investigates the state of balance of a floating and submerged body, as well as the pressure in a fluid, or imposed by a fluid, on an immersed body.

Step 2: What adjustments do birds make to stay on the water's surface?

Geese, ducks, and swans, for example, have specific glands that secrete oil that they release into the water. This keeps the feathers from getting wet, and since they have webbed feet and a higher water surface tension, they stay floating on the water's surface.

The same birds, on the other hand, are unable to sit in soapy water because the surface tension of the water is lower, and soap washes the oily feather, increasing the bird's weight. The bird sinks as a result of this.

As a result of some of the unique characteristics, such as the presence of oil glands and the surface tension of the water, the birds prefer to perch on the water's surface.

Step 3: Why birds cannot sit on soapy water

The buoyancy force causes an item to float over a liquid and is dependent on the density of the liquid and the object, implying that the object's density should be lower than the liquid density in order to float over the water.

Oil secretion makes their feathers slick, allowing them to shed water from their feathers, which keeps them from becoming wet.Because of their webbed feet and higher water surface tension, these birds can float readily on water.

The surface tension is the elastic propensity of a fluid's surface to obtain the smallest feasible surface area.

Hence, due to surface tension and density the birds are able to float on the surface of water.

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