CBC Radio news is reporting on the strange case of the rare “fainting goat”. This is a type of goat that is thought to have originated in Nova Scotia (although most folklore about it centers around Tennesee for some reason). They are a weird genetic mutation with one odd trait–if they are startled or get excited, their legs freeze up and they tip over. They do not lose consciousness, they just fall down!
Talk about a counter-adaptive mutation! When farmer Bob comes out with the gun, do they run away? No, they just bleat once and fall over, waiting for the axe.
There’s a woman in Nova Scotia who is breeding them, to “bring back” the population which has declined over the years. She describes how in the morning she comes out with the feed bucket and they all get excited and fall over like bowling pins.