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Your morning adorable: Fainting goats

April 29, 2009 | 11:43 am

Fainting goat

Submitter Bottoms-Up-Ranch explains that this little guy, named Brophy, is not just any goat -- he's a fainting goat.

Fainting goats are actually a unique breed with a hereditary disorder called myotonia congenita, which affects skeletal muscles.  When startled, young fainting goats' muscles freeze for a short time, which usually results in them tipping over.  (Older fainting goats often learn to compensate for their muscular disorder, standing with their legs far apart for support or leaning on a solid object when they feel a faint coming on.) But the name "fainting goat" is a bit misleading because the goats never actually lose consciousness.

Fainting goats are also called by a variety of different names, including myotonic goats, nervous goats, wooden-leg goats, and Tennessee scare goats.  And while we could certainly question the dubious merits of breeding successive generations of animals with a known genetic disorder ... we can't help but enjoy watching them. 

Check out the video of fainting goats in action after the jump, and more photos of life on the farm at The Times' photo-sharing site, Your Scene.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Bottoms-Up-Ranch / Your Scene
Video: National Geographic via YouTube

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