By Jen fitschen / Feb 3, 2023
Do you want to learn about the Alpaca?
Scientific name: Lama Pacos Family: Camelidae Diet: Herbivore (grazer) Habitat: Mountainous areas and farmlands Distribution: Throughout South America; exported worldwide Population: 4 million Level of Endangerment: Domesticated
Alpacas belong to the family of Camelidae. They are mammals with hooves. Alpacas have long legs and a long neck. Other than their round face, their fluffy tail is perhaps their cutest feature. Typically they reach a weight of 121 – 143 pounds, and a height of roughly 35 inches.
Alpacas vs Llamas
Alpacas are often mistaken for their cousins, the Llamas. Llamas likewise descend from the vicuna and guanaco, but are distinctively larger than the Alpacas and have pointier ears. One can also identify either species by their tail: Alpacas keep their tails tucked close to their body, whereas the Llama’s tail stands erect.
Habitat and Distribution
Alpacas originated in Peru and today 99% of the world’s Alpaca population reside throughout the South American continent.
Habitats include dry & wet areas and tend to reside in high altitudes – as high as 15,750 feet.
They are grazers and an “Alpacian” diet predominantly consists of pasture grass and hay. they chew in a motion resembling the figure eight, giving them that air of attitude that makes them even more loveable.
Mating and life cycle
Alpacas do not have a specific mating season albeit it occurs more frequently in spring or autumn.
Gestation period lasts roughly 11,5 months – a single baby is born, called a cria.
Typically they live to be 15 – 20 years, but the documented record-age is 27.
Besides their many sounds, they also spit at people or fellow Alpacas to assert dominance. This is also their trademark and oftentimes the only thing people know about them.
They make good therapy animals reducing stress, depression and fatigue in patients.
As you can see these creatures are much more multifaceted than society gives them credit for!
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