Fainting Goats


Fainting Goat FLICKR This is so bizarre that when I first saw the video below, I thought it was an April Fool's joke. These so-called "fainting goats" stiffen up and fall over when startled.  I thought, "there's no way that could possibly be real."  But after doing some quick research into it, I discovered that sure enough, this is a real breed of goat and its "fainting" is a real condition.  

It's a great example of a genetic trait that shows up in domestic animals that would never be found in a wild population.  Imagine a wild goat that fell over when a predator attacked. It certainly wouldn't live long enough to reproduce and pass the trait on to the next generation! 

Photo courtesy of vtengr4047 on Flickr.

David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >







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