Alpacas

Banner Alpaca C Daniel Bowler

Historia Natural

Alpacas are believed to have been developed 6,000-7,000 years ago through selective breeding from the wild vicuña. They were domesticated by the Andean people as a source of meat, fuel and fiber. They are the smallest of the domesticated camelid species, and can weigh between 100 to 200 pounds. Today, they are gaining popularity in the U.S. for their fleece, which is more efficient for warmth than sheep wool. Alpaca fibers are completely hollow, much like polar bear fur, and allow air to permeate the surface and become trapped inside for warmth.

Alpacas are often confused for llamas, a close relative in the camelid family. The key differences between the two are size, disposition, and fiber texture. Alpacas are roughly half the size of llamas, and are more docile than their confident and assertive cousins. Alpacas also produce finer, softer fleece compared to that of llamas.

NOMBRE CIENTÍFICO
Vicugna pacos

CLASE
Mamíferos

FAMILIA
Camelidae

DIETA
Grasses

TALLA
121-143 pounds, 35 inches high at the shoulder

HÁBITAT Y DISTRIBUCIÓN
Marshy mountainous areas from southern Colombia and Ecuador south to northern Chile and northern Argentina

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