Unusual Animal Behaviour

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Over the aeons, animals have evolved various mechanisms to ensure their survival. Some mechanisms manifest themselves in the form of physical traits, others through behavioural adaptations.

For instance, some big cats like leopards stalk their prey before pouncing on them. This mechanism saves a lot of energy and effort when hunting.

Conversely, herbivorous animals also possess certain defence mechanisms against predation. Animals like the rhino have thick, dermal skin that is impervious to fangs and claws. Others like the pronghorn antelope are fast enough to outrun most predators. However, certain animal behaviours are downright absurd and even amusing to observe.

Fainting Goats

Animals do not usually faint out in the wild because this can mean the difference between life or death. However, certain species of domestic goats were observed to exhibit this strange behaviour.

This mechanism triggers when the goat feels threatened or becomes suddenly startled.

Under normal circumstances, the goat will try to escape the disturbance or the threat, but in severe cases, the situation causes the goat’s muscles to freeze-up. This causes the animal to remain frozen in position or fall over, giving the impression of ‘fainting.’

This phenomenon is usually observed for about 5 to 30 seconds before the animal recovers.

Usually, these episodes recur throughout the animal’s lifespan but is relatively unharmed and is able to live a relatively healthy life. Scientists attribute this behaviour to a hereditary disorder called Myotoniacongenita, hence it is also known as a myotonic goat.

Archerfish

The archerfish is a species of fish that inhabits the estuaries of India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. This fish is eponymously named because it has been observed to shoot down terrestrial insects with water droplets shot from its mouth. It does this by contracting its gill covers and forcing water through its mouthparts. The grooves in its mouth channel the water into a narrow stream, eventually forcing the water out of its mouth and towards its prey.

And it does this with remarkable accuracy too – an adult archerfish almost always hits its target on the very first shot. However, this is no easy task as the fish’s eyes have to compensate for the refraction of light through air and water. Furthermore, the archerfish is one of the few other animals that uses water as a tool. Explore other interesting topics such as examples of carbohydrates, facts about the tongue, functions of the heart and more only at BYJU’S.