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Thread: Can Dragons Float?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    Don't forget Hippo-style. They walk underwater, and basically jump to get up again.
    True, but hippos cannot fly. So, do you think dragons could launch themselves with enough force to get airborne?

    Tim the Enchanter

  2. #12
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    Do you think dragons can take to the air from the water, or do you think they'd need to swim to land and dry off first?

    Personally, I think that if dragons are buoyant, they'd float mostly submerged like a crocodile, rather than floating on top of the water like a duck. Since most of the body is underwater, it would be difficult for the wings to create enough lift to drag itself out, but that's just what I think.
    I agree. Birds that can take off from the water are buoyant, and float on the surface like corks.

    Also, we've discussed in a previous thread the implausibility of dragons flying in the first place. But unless you assume that the same magic that lets them fly allows them to simply ignore physics altogether, a dragon just doesn't seem likely to be able to generate the sort of lift by flapping its wings rapidly that would pull its body out of the water without any other upward force. Besides the likelihood that, unlike a bird, it starts out partially submerged, the water will also act as a drag.

    A dragon could only jump if it's in water shallow enough to reach the bottom.

  3. #13
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I just wish I knew the actually mathematical formula for figuring out buoyancy. I know there are several large animals that can float, but other physical factors go into that besides weight. There is probably little chance, however, of being able to look up the physiology of dragon, though.

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  4. #14
    herm_own_ninny13
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    Density formula is mass/volume. If something is less dense than water, it will be able to float.

    But, I digress. It would be SO much cooler for a dragon to dive into the water and dive back out and fly away.

  5. #15
    x_GinnyPotter_x
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    Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    Do you think dragons can take to the air from the water, or do you think they'd need to swim to land and dry off first?

    Personally, I think that if dragons are buoyant, they'd float mostly submerged like a crocodile, rather than floating on top of the water like a duck. Since most of the body is underwater, it would be difficult for the wings to create enough lift to drag itself out, but that's just what I think.
    Hmm... I agree, croc-style would seem the most logical style of floating/swimming for a dragon. They seem fairly similar enough to make that assumption, so I can see a dragon swimming about the same way - they have long tails that could probably be used for propelling/steering if needed, so once in the water they could dive under and chase and catch their prey. Though I'm not sure if dragon's tails would be well-designed for this use... perhaps Norwegians have a specific adaptation of their tails for this, sonce they are the only species to hunt water animals. I doubt a dragon would want to use its wings much in water, since the drag from the water might be a bit much for them to handle. They might be useful for steering, though.

    As for exiting the water, I also agree with Tim... while the wings have enough strength to get a dragon off the ground, I don't think they would be able to overcome the weight of the water in addition, at least not alone. Maybe the could propell themselves out - start deep and use speed/acceleration to get them out of the water and back into the air so they can fly. (This might also be nessecary in the absence of near-by land, like in oceans or large lakes) Since they don't exactly have feathers, I don't think they'd need to dry off first. But they probably would need to get back to land or jump out of the water in order to take flight again.

    --Kayla

  6. #16
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    Having asked such a random question about the buoyancy of dragons, I have some more questions:

    Charlie Weasley "studies dragons in Romania" - what exactly does that mean? Does Charlie just observe and take notes, like wizards presumably have done for the centuries that dragons have been kept away from Muggle eyes? Or could these dragon researchers be performing experiments on dragons, like dropping them in lakes to see if they float or not?

    Also...

    The Norwegian Ridgeback is so named because of the sharp ridges on the back of its spine. What is the purpose of this feature? Could it have any use for the Ridgeback's aquatic/terrestrial feeding habits?

    Tim the Enchanter

  7. #17
    Halgy
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    Charlie Weasley "studies dragons in Romania" - what exactly does that mean? Does Charlie just observe and take notes, like wizards presumably have done for the centuries that dragons have been kept away from Muggle eyes? Or could these dragon researchers be performing experiments on dragons, like dropping them in lakes to see if they float or not?

    I always took this to mean that he was studying how to handle and care for them, rather like a super Care of Magical Creatures class. It's possible that they did studies, but mostly I figure he just learned now to be around them and not be killed.

    The Norwegian Ridgeback is so named because of the sharp ridges on the back of its spine. What is the purpose of this feature? Could it have any use for the Ridgeback's aquatic/terrestrial feeding habits?

    The first thing that comes to mind would be ridges for protection. I don't know what would eat a dragon, but some dinosaurs had them too. If you want to go that far into it, they could be a left-over defense mechanism that helped them ward off T-Rexes and such, and they simply haven't evolved since.

  8. #18
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I finally found the equation I was looking for! The one to figure out rlative density of an object!

    Relative Density=substanceX/referenceX
    The substance being actual weigh and the reference being the overall volume of the object.

    In order to figure out whether or not an object can float, you calculate the relative density of the object and compare it to the density of water. If it is greater than water's density, it will sink, but if it is less, the object has boyancy, and it will float.

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I finally found the equation I was looking for! The one to figure out rlative density of an object!

    Relative Density=substanceX/referenceX
    The substance being actual weigh and the reference being the overall volume of the object.

    In order to figure out whether or not an object can float, you calculate the relative density of the object and compare it to the density of water. If it is greater than water's density, it will sink, but if it is less, the object has boyancy, and it will float.
    Thanks for the equation, but since nobody here knows how much a dragon weighs or how much volume it has, I'm afraid we're stuck.

    But there seems to be a general consensus that dragons can in fact float.

    Tim the Enchanter

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