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Guanaco by Evometheus6082
Guanaco
The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is acamelid native to South America that stands between 1 and 1.2 metres (3 ft 3 in and 3 ft 11 in) at the shoulder and weighs about 90 kg (200 lb). The colour varies very little (unlike the domestic llama), ranging from a light brown to dark cinnamon and shading to white underneath. Guanacos have grey faces and small straight ears. The name guanaco comes from the South American language Quechuaword wanaku (old spelling,huanaco). Young guanacos are called chulengo(s).

Population and distribution


The guanaco is a vulnerable animal native to the arid, mountainous regions of South America. Guanaco are found in the altiplano of Peru,BoliviaEcuadorColombiaChile, and Argentina. In Chile and Argentina, they are more numerous inPatagonian regions, as well as in places like the Torres del Paine National Park, and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. In these areas, they have more robust populations, since there are limitations on grazing competition from livestock. Bolivian Indians have been known to raise guanaco to help them regain their population stability. A guanaco’s typical lifespan is 20 to 25 years. Estimates, as of 2011, place their numbers at 400,000 to 600,000.

Guanacos live in herds composed of females, their young and a dominant male. Bachelor males form a separate herd. While female groups tend to remain small, often containing no more than ten adults, bachelor herds may contain as many as 50 males. When they feel threatened, guanaco alert the herd to flee with a high-pitched bleating call. The male will usually run behind the herd to defend them. They can run with a speed of 56 km (35 mi) per hour, often over steep and rocky terrain. They are also excellent swimmers. The guanaco have an unusual method of survival—licking all the nutrients and dew from desert cacti.

Guanacos are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America (along with the manatee, the tapir, and the jaguar). They have only one natural predator, the mountain lionGuanacos will often spit when threatened. 
To protect its neck from harm, the guanaco has developed thicker skin on its neck, a trait still found in its domestic counterparts, the llama and alpaca, and its wild cousin, the vicuña. Bolivians use the necks of these animals to makeshoes, flattening and pounding the skin to be used for the soles. In Chile, the government has approved the killing of 15,000 guanacos per year in 2013.

Mating season


Mating season occurs between November and February, during which males often fight violently to establish dominance and breeding rights. Eleven-and-a-half months later, a single chulengo is born. Chulengos are able to walk immediately after birth. Male chulengos are chased off from the herd at approximately one year of age.

Domestication


Although the species is still considered wild, there are around 300 guanaco in US zoos and around 200 registered in private herds. They have been successfully bred on a Peak District hill farm, Heathylee House Farmalongside other livestock for many years.

Guanacos are the parent species of the domesticated llama.

Hemoglobin levels


Guanacos are often found at high altitudes, up to 13,000 feet above sea level, except in Patagonia, where the southerly latitude means ice covers the vegetation at these altitudes. To survive the low oxygen levels found at these high altitudes the blood is rich in red blood cells. A teaspoon of guanaco blood contains about 68 billion red blood cells, ~four times that of a human.

Guanaco fiber


Guanaco fiber is particularly prized for its soft, warm feel and is found in luxury fabric. The guanaco's soft wool is valued second only to that of the vicuña. The pelts, particularly from the calves, are sometimes used as a substitute for red fox pelts, because the texture is difficult to differentiate. Like their domestic descendant, the llama, the guanaco is double coated with a coarse guard hair and soft undercoat, which is about 16-18 µ in diameter and comparable to the best cashmere.

Atacama Desert


Some Guanacos live in the Atacama Desert, where in some areas it has not rained for over 50 years. A coastline running parallel to the desert enables them to survive. Where the cool water touches the hot land, the air above the desert is cooled, creating a fog and thus, water vapor. Winds carry the fog across the desert, where cacti catch the water droplets and lichen that cling to the cacti soak it in like a sponge. When the guanacos eat the cacti flowers and the lichen, the water is transferred to them.
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Vicuna by Evometheus6082
Vicuna
The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) or vicugna is one of two wildSouth American camelids which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes; the other being theguanaco. It is a relative of thellama, and is now believed to be the wild ancestor of domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their coats. Vicuñas produce small amounts of extremely fine wool, which is very expensive because the animal can only be shorn every three years, and has to be caught from the wild. When knitted together, the product of the vicuña's wool is very soft and warm. The Inca valued vicuñas highly for their wool, and it was against the law for anyone but royalty to wear vicuña garments.

Both under the rule of the Inca and today, vicuñas have been protected by law, but they were heavily hunted in the intervening period. Before being declared endangered in 1974, only about 6,000 animals were left. Today, the vicuña population has recovered to about 350,000,[1]and although conservation organizations have reduced its level of threat classification, they still call for active conservation programs to protect populations from poaching, habitat loss, and other threats.

The vicuña is the national animal of Peru; its emblem is used on the Peruvian coat of arms.

Description


The vicuña is considered more delicate and graceful than the guanaco, and smaller. A key distinguishing element of morphology is the better developed incisor roots for the guanaco.

The vicuña's long, woolly coat is tawny brown on the back, whereas the hair on the throat and chest is white and quite long. The head is slightly shorter than the guanaco's and the ears are slightly longer. The length of head and body ranges from 1.45 to 1.60 m (about 5 ft); shoulder height from 75 to 85 cm (around 3 ft); weight from 35 to 65 kg (under 150 lb).

To prevent poaching, a round up is held every year, and all vicuñas with fur longer than 2.5 cm are shorn.

Distribution


Vicuñas live exclusively in South America, primarily in the central Andes at altitudes of 3,200 to 4,800 m. They are native to Peru, north western ArgentinaBolivia, and northern Chile, with a smaller, introduced population in central EcuadorPeru has the largest number. 

Habitat


Vicuñas live at altitudes of 3,200 to 4,800 m. They feed in daytime on the grassy plains of the Andes Mountains, but spend the nights on the slopes. In these areas, only nutrient-poor, tough, bunch grasses and Festuca grow. The sun's rays are able to penetrate the thin atmosphere, producing relatively warm temperatures during the day; however, the temperatures drop to freezing at night. The vicuña's thick but soft coat is a special adaptation which traps layers of warm air close to its body, so it can tolerate freezing temperatures.

Behavior


The behavior of vicuñas is similar to that of the guanacos. They are very shy animals, and are easily aroused by intruders, due, among other things, to their extraordinary hearing. Like the guanacos, they will frequently lickcalcareous stones and rocks, which are rich in salt, and will also drink salt water. Their diets consist mainly of low grasses which grow in clumps on the ground.

Vicuñas live in family-based groups made up of a male, five to 15 females, and their young. Each group has its own territory of about 18 km2, which can fluctuate depending on the availability of food.

Mating usually occurs in March–April, and after a gestation period of about 11 months, the female gives birth to a single fawn, which is nursed for about 10 months. The fawn becomes independent at about 12 to 18 months old. Young males will form bachelor groups and the young females search for a sorority to join. Along with preventing intraspecific competition, this also prevents inbreeding, which can cause a population bottleneck  in endangered species as observed with cheetahs.

Relationship with humans


Domestication

Until recently, the vicuña was thought to be not domesticated, and the llama and the alpaca were both descendants of the guanaco, a very closely related animal. But recent DNA research has shown the alpaca may well have vicuña parentage. Today, the vicuña is mainly wild, but the local people still perform special rituals with these creatures, including a fertility rite.

Conservation


From the period of Spanish conquest to 1964, hunting of the vicuña was unrestricted, which reduced its numbers to only 6,000 in the 1960s. As a result, the species was declared endangered in 1974, and its status prohibited the trade of vicuña wool. In Peru, during 1964–1966, the Servicio Forestal y de Caza in cooperation with the US Peace Corps, Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the National Agrarian University of La Molina established a nature conservatory for the vicuña called the Pampa Galeras – Barbara D'Achille in Lucanas ProvinceAyacucho. During that time, a game warden academy was held in Nazca, where eight men from Peru and six from Bolivia were trained to protect the vicuña from poaching. The estimated population in Peru increased from 6,000 to 75,000 with protection by game wardens. Currently, the community of Lucanas conducts a Chaccu (herding, capturing, and shearing) on the reserve each year to harvest the wool, organized by the National Council for South-American Camelids (CONACS).

The wool is sold on the world market for over $300 per kg, to help support the community. In Bolivia, the Ulla Ulla National Reserve was founded in 1977 partly as a sanctuary for the species. Their numbers grew to 125,000 inPeruChileArgentina, and Bolivia. Since this was a ready "cash crop" for community members, the countries relaxed regulations on vicuña wool in 1993, enabling its trade once again. While the population levels have recovered to a healthy level, poaching remains a constant threat, as do habitat loss and other threats. Consequently, the IUCN still supports active conservation programs to protect vicuñas, though they lowered its status to least concern.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has reclassified most populations as threatened, but still lists Ecuador's population as endangered. 

Vicuña wool


The wool is popular due to its warmth. Its properties come from the tiny scales on the hollow, air-filled fibres. It causes them to interlock and trap insulating air. At the same time, it is finer than any other wool in the world, measuring 12 micrometers in diameter,  but since it is sensitive to chemical treatment, the wool is usually left in its natural color.

The vicuña will only produce about 0.5 kg of wool a year, and gathering it requires a certain process. During the time of the Incas, vicuña wool was gathered by means of communal efforts called chacu, in which multitudes of people herded hundreds of thousands of vicuña into previously laid funnel traps. The animals were sheared and then released; this was only done once every four years. The vicuña was believed to be the reincarnation of a beautiful young maiden who received a coat of pure gold once she consented to the advances of an old, ugly king. Because of this, it was against the law for anyone to kill a vicuña or wear its fleece, except for Inca royalty.

At present, the Peruvian government has a labeling system that identifies all garments that have been created through a government sanctioned chacu. This guarantees that the animal was captured, sheared alive, returned to the wild, and cannot be sheared again for another two years. The program also ensures that a large portion of the profits return to the villagers. However, annually, up to 22,500 kg of vicuña wool are exported as a result of illegal activities. Because of this, some countries have banned the importation of the wool to save the animal. And although it is possible to commercially produce wool from domesticated vicuñas, it is difficult because they tend to escape.

As of June 2007, prices for vicuña fabrics can range from US$1,800 to US$3,000 per yard. Vicuña wool can be used for apparel (such as socks, sweaters, accessories, shawls, coats and suits) and home furnishings (such as blankets and throws). A vicuña wool scarf costs around US$1,500 and a men's topcoat can cost up to $30,000.

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Llama by Evometheus6082
Llama

The llama (/ˈlɑːmə/Spanish: [ˈʎama] locally: [ˈʝama] or [ˈʒama]) (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times.

The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is 1.7 to 1.8 m (5.5 to 6.0 ft) tall at the top of the head, and can weigh between 130 and 200 kg (280 to 450 lb). At birth, a baby llama (called a cria) can weigh between 9 and 14 kg (20 and 30 lb). Llamas typically live for 15-25 years, with some individuals surviving 30 years or more.

They are very social animals and live with other llamas as a herd. The wool produced by a llama is very soft and lanolin-free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack, they can carry about 25% to 30% of their body weight for 8–13 km (5–8 miles).
The name llama (in the past also spelled 'lama' or 'glama') was adopted by European settlers from native Peruvians.

Llamas appear to have originated from the central plains of North America about 40 million years ago. They migrated to South America about three million years ago. By the end of the last ice age (10,000–12,000 years ago), camelids were extinct in North America.
As of 2007, there were over seven million llamas and alpacas in South America, and due to importation from South America in the late 20th century, there are now over 158,000 llamas and 100,000 alpacas in the United States and Canada.

Classification

Lamoids, or llamas (as they are more generally known as a group), consist of the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna, prev. Lama vicugna), guanaco (Lama guanicoe), Suri alpaca, and Huacaya alpaca (Vicugna pacos, prev. Lama guanicoe pacos), and the domestic llama (Lama guanicoe glama). Guanacos and vicuñas live in the wild, while alpacas – as well as llamas – exist only as domesticated animals.
Although early writers compared llamas to sheep, their similarity to the camel was soon recognized. They were included in the genus Camelus along with alpaca in the Systema Naturae (1758) ofLinnaeus. They were, however, separated by Cuvier in 1800 under the name of lama along with theguanaco.  Alpacas and vicuñas are in genus Vicugna. The genera Lama and Vicugna are, with the two species of true camels, the sole existing representatives of a very distinct section of theArtiodactyla or even-toed ungulates, called Tylopoda, or "bump-footed", from the peculiar bumps on the soles of their feet. The Tylopoda consist of a single family, the Camelidae, and shares the order Artiodactyla with the Suina (pigs), the Tragulina (chevrotains), the Pecora (ruminants), and the Whippomorpha (hippos and cetaceans, which belong to Artiodactyla from acladistic, if not traditional, standpoint). The Tylopoda have more or less affinity to each of the sister taxa, standing in some respects in a middle position between them, sharing some characteristics from each, but in others showing special modifications not found in any of the other taxa.

The 19th-century discoveries of a vast and previously unexpected extinct Paleogene fauna of North America, as interpreted by paleontologists LeidyCope, and Marsh, aided understanding of the early history of this family. Llamas were not always confined to South America; abundant llama-like remains were found inPleistocene deposits in the Rocky Mountains and in Central America. Some of the fossil llamas were much larger than current forms. Some species remained in North America during the last ice ages. North American llamas are categorized as a single extinct genus,Hemiauchenia. Llama-like animals would have been a common sight 25,000 years ago, in modern-day CaliforniaTexasNew Mexico,UtahMissouri, and Florida.

The camelid lineage has a good fossil record. Camel-like animals have been traced from the thoroughly differentiated, modern species back through early Miocene forms. Their characteristics became more general, and they lost those that distinguished them as camelids; hence, they were classified as ancestral artiodactyls.[citation needed] No fossils of these earlier forms have been found in the Old World, indicating that North America was the original home of camelids, and that Old World camels crossed over via the Bering Land Bridge. The formation of the Isthmus of Panamathree million years ago allowed camelids to spread to South America as part of the Great American Interchange, where they evolved further. Meanwhile, North American camelids died out at the end of the Pleistocene.

Characteristics


The following characteristics apply especially to llamas. Dentition of adults:-incisors 1/3 canines 1/1, premolars 2/2, molars 3/2; total 32. In the upper jaw, a compressed, sharp, pointed laniariform incisor near the hinder edge of the premaxilla is followed in the male at least by a moderate-sized, pointed, curved true canine in the anterior part of the maxilla. 
The isolated canine-like premolar which follows in the camels is not present. The teeth of the molar series which are in contact with each other consist of two very small premolars (the first almost rudimentary) and three broad molars, constructed generally like those of Camelus. In the lower jaw, the three incisors are long, spatulate, and procumbent; the outer ones are the smallest. Next to these is a curved, suberect canine, followed after an interval by an isolated minute and often deciduous simple conical premolar; then a contiguous series of one premolar and three molars, which differ from those of Camelus in having a small accessory column at the anterior outer edge.

The skull generally resembles that of Camelus, the larger brain-cavity and orbits and less-developed cranial ridges being due to its smaller size. The nasal bones are shorter and broader, and are joined by the premaxilla.

Vertebrae:

  • cervical 7,
  • dorsal 12,
  • lumbar 7,
  • sacral 4,
  • caudal 15 to 20.

The ears are rather long and slightly curved inward, characteristically known as "banana" shaped. There is no dorsal hump. The feet are narrow, the toes being more separated than in the camels, each having a distinct plantar pad. The tail is short, and fibre is long, woolly and soft.

In essential structural characteristics, as well as in general appearance and habits, all the animals of this genus very closely resemble each other, so whether they should be considered as belonging to one, two, or more species is a matter of controversy among naturalists.

The question is complicated by the circumstance of the great majority of individuals which have come under observation being either in a completely or partially domesticated state. Many are also descended from ancestors which have previously been domesticated, a state which tends to produce a certain amount of variation from the original type. The four forms commonly distinguished by the inhabitants of South America are recognized as distinct species, though with difficulties in defining their distinctive characteristics.

These are:

The llama and alpaca are only known in the domestic state, and are variable in size and of many colors, being often white, brown, or piebald. Some are grey or black. The guanaco and vicuña are wild, the former being endangered, and of a nearly uniform light-brown color, passing into white below. They certainly differ from each other, the vicuña being smaller, more slender in its proportions, and having a shorter head than the guanaco. The vicuña lives in herds on the bleak and elevated parts of the mountain range bordering the region of perpetual snow, amidst rocks and precipices, occurring in various suitable localities throughout Peru, in the southern part of Ecuador, and as far south as the middle of Bolivia. Its manners very much resemble those of the chamois of the European Alps; it is as vigilant, wild, and timid. The fiber is extremely delicate and soft, and highly valued for the purposes of weaving, but the quantity which each animal produces is minimal. Alpacas are descended from wild vicuna ancestors, while domesticated llamas are descended from wild guanaco ancestors, though a considerable amount of hybridization between the two species has occurred.

Differential characteristics between llamas and alpacas include the llama's larger size, longer head, and curved ears. Alpaca fiber is generally more expensive, but not always more valuable. Alpacas tend to have a more consistent color throughout the body. The most apparent visual difference between llamas and camels is that camels have a hump or humps and llamas do not.

Reproduction

Llamas have an unusual reproductive cycle for a large animal. Female llamas are induced ovulators. Through the act of mating, the female releases an egg and is often fertilized on the first attempt. Female llamas do not go into estrus ("heat"). Like humans, llama males and females mature sexually at different rates. Females reach puberty at about 12 months old; males do not become sexually mature until around three years of age.

Mating

Llamas mate with the female in a kush (lying down) position, which is fairly unusual in a large animal. They mate for an extended period of time (20–45 minutes), also unusual in a large animal.

Gestation

The gestation period of a llama is 11.5 months (350 days). Dams (female llamas) do not lick off their babies, as they have an attached tongue which does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch (1.3 cm). Rather, they will nuzzle and hum to their newborns.

Crias

cria (from Spanish for "baby") is the name for a baby llama, alpacavicuña, or guanaco. Crias are typically born with all the females of the herd gathering around, in an attempt to protect against the male llamas and potential predators. Llamas give birth standing. Birth is usually quick and problem-free, over in less than 30 minutes. Most births take place between 8 am and noon, during the warmer daylight hours. This may increase cria survival by reducing fatalities due to hypothermia during cold Andean nights. This birthing pattern is speculated to be a continuation of the birthing patterns observed in the wild. Crias are up and standing, walking and attempting to suckle within the first hour after birth. Crias are partially fed with llama milk that is lower in fat and salt and higher in phosphorus and calcium than cow or goat milk. A female llama will only produce about 60 ml (2.1 imp fl oz) of milk at a time when she gives milk, so the cria must suckle frequently to receive the nutrients it requires.

Breeding situations

In harem breeding, the male is left with females most of the year.

For field breeding, a female is turned out into a field with a male llama and left there for some period of time. This is the easiest method in terms of labor, but the least useful in terms of prediction of a likely birth date. An ultrasound test can be performed, and together with the exposure dates, a better idea of when the cria is expected can be determined.

Hand breeding is the most efficient method, but requires the most work on the part of the human involved. A male and female llama are put into the same pen and breeding is monitored. They are then separated and rebred every other day until one or the other refuses the breeding. Usually, one can get in two breedings using this method, though some studs have routinely refused to breed a female more than once. The separation presumably helps to keep the sperm count high for each breeding and also helps to keep the condition of the female llama's reproductive tract more sound. If the breeding is not successful within two to three weeks, the female is bred once again.

Pregnancy

Llamas should be tested for pregnancy after breeding at two to three, six and at least 12 weeks.

  1. For "spit" testing, bring the potentially pregnant dam to an intact male. If the stud attempts to mate with her and she lies down for him within a fairly short period of time, she is not pregnant. If she remains on her feet, spits, attacks him, or otherwise prevents his being able to mate, it is assumed she is probably pregnant. This test gets its name due to the dam spitting at the male if she is pregnant.
  2. For progesterone testing, a veterinarian can test a blood sample for progesterone. A high level can indicate a pregnancy.
  3. With palpation, the veterinarian or breeder manually feels inside the llama to detect a pregnancy. Some risks to the llama exist, but it can be an accurate method for pregnancy detection.
  4. Ultrasound is the most accurate method for an experienced veterinarian, who can do an exterior examination and detect a fetus as early as 45 days.

Spit testing with an intact male is generally free and is usually accurate. However, some hormonal conditions in females can make them reject a male when they are in fact not pregnant, and, more rarely, accept a male when they are pregnant. Progesterone tests can give a high reading in some females with a hormonal problem which are in fact not pregnant. Neither of the previous methods, nor palpation, can give a reasonably accurate idea of the age of the fetus, while an ultrasound procedure can. In addition, an ultrasound procedure can distinguish between pregnancy and misleading physical conditions, or between a live and dead fetus. The disadvantages of an ultrasound procedure are cost, some training in the use of ultrasound equipment is required, and not all veterinarians have the equipment needed to perform the examination.

Nutrition

Options for feeding llamas are quite wide; a wide variety of commercial and farm-based feeds are available. The major determining factors include feed cost, availability, nutrient balance and energy density required. Young, actively growing llamas require a greater concentration of nutrients than mature animals because of their smaller digestive tract capacities.

Behavior

Llamas which are well-socialized and trained to halter and lead after weaning are very friendly and pleasant to be around. They are extremely curious and most will approach people easily. However, llamas that are bottle-fed or over-socialized and over-handled as youth will become extremely difficult to handle when mature, when they will begin to treat humans as they treat each other, which is characterized by bouts of spitting, kicking and neck wrestling. Anyone having to bottle-feed a cria should keep contact to a minimum and stop as soon as possible.

When correctly reared, llamas spitting at a human is a rare thing. Llamas are very social herd animals, however, and do sometimes spit at each other as a way of disciplining lower-ranked llamas in the herd. A llama's social rank in a herd is never static. They can always move up or down in the social ladder by picking small fights. This is usually done between males to see which will become dominant. Their fights are visually dramatic, with spitting, ramming each other with their chests, neck wrestling and kicking, mainly to knock the other off balance. The females are usually only seen spitting as a means of controlling other herd members.

While the social structure might always be changing, they live as a family and they do take care of each other. If one notices a strange noise or feels threatened, a warning bray is sent out and all others become alert. They will often hum to each other as a form of communication.

The sound of the llama making groaning noises or going "mwa" is often a sign of fear or anger. If a llama is agitated, it will lay its ears back. One may determine how agitated the llama is by the materials in the spit. The more irritated the llama is, the further back into each of the three stomach compartments it will try to draw materials from for its spit.

An "orgle" is the mating sound of a llama or alpaca, made by the sexually aroused male. The sound is reminiscent of gargling, but with a more forceful, buzzing edge. Males begin the sound when they become aroused and continue throughout the act of procreation – from 15 minutes to more than an hour.

Guard behavior

Using llamas as livestock guards in North America began in the early 1980s, and some sheep producers have used llamas successfully since then.  They are used most commonly in the in western regions of the United States, where larger predators, such as the coyote as well as feral dogs, are prevalent. Typically, a single gelding (castrated male) is used.

Research suggests the use of multiple guard llamas is not as effective as one. Multiple males tend to bond with one another, rather than with the livestock, and may ignore the flock. A gelded male of two years of age bonds closely with its new charges and is instinctively very effective in preventing predation. Some llamas appear to bond more quickly to sheep or goats if they are introduced just prior to lambing. Many sheep and goat producers indicate a special bond quickly develops between lambs and their guard llama and the llama is particularly protective of the lambs.

Using llamas as guards has eliminated the losses to predators for many producers. The value of the livestock saved each year more than exceeds the purchase cost and annual maintenance of a llama. Although not every llama is suited to the job, most are a viable, nonlethal alternative for reducing predation, requiring no training and little care.

History

Pre-Incan cultures

The Moche people frequently placed llamas and llama parts in the burials of important people, as offerings or provisions for the afterlife. The Moche culture of pre-Columbian Peru depicted llamas quite realistically in their ceramics.

Inca empire

In the Inca empire, llamas were the only beasts of burden, and many of the people dominated by the Inca had long traditions of llama herding. For the Inca nobility, the llama was of symbolic significance, and llama figures were often buried with the dead.  In South America, llamas are still used as beasts of burden, as well as for the production of fiber and meat. The Inca deity Urcuchillay was depicted in the form of a multicolored llama. Scholar Alex Chepstow-Lusty has argued that the switch from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to wide spread agriculture was only possible because of the use of llama dung as fertilizer.

Spanish empire

One of the main uses for llamas at the time of the Spanish conquest was to bring down ore from the mines in the mountains. Gregory de Bolivar estimated that in his day, as many as 300 thousand were employed in the transport of produce from the Potosí mines alone, but since the introduction of horsesmules, and donkeys, the importance of the llama as a beast of burden has greatly diminished.

According to Juan Ignacio Molina, the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of chilihueques (possibly a llama type) by nativeMapuches of Mocha Island as plow animals in 1614.

Fiber

Llamas have a fine undercoat which can be used for handicrafts and garments. The coarser outer guard hair is used for rugs, wall-hangings and lead ropes. The fiber comes in many different colors ranging from white or grey to reddish-brown, brown, dark brown and black.

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Alpaca by Evometheus6082
Alpaca

An alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is adomesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.

There are two breeds of alpaca; the Suri alpaca and the Huacayaalpaca.

Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of theAndes of southern Peru, northernBoliviaEcuador, and northernChile at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,500 ft) to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) above sea level, throughout the year.

Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to bebeasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles andponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States.

In the textile industry, "alpaca" primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpacas, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair, but now often made from similar fibers, such as mohair,Icelandic sheep wool, or even high-quality English wool.

In trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohair and luster.

An adult alpaca generally is between 81 and 99 cm in height at the withers. They usually weigh between 48 and 84 kg (106 and 185 lbs).

Background


Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years. The Mochepeople of northern Peru often used alpaca images in their art.
There are no known wild alpacas, though its closest living relative, the vicuña (also native to South America), are believed to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca. There are no known wild alpacas, though its closest living relative, the vicuña (also native to South America), are believed to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca.
Alpacas and llamas can successfully cross-breed. The resulting offspring are called huarizo, which are valued for their unique fleece and gentle dispositions.

Behavior

Alpacas are social herd animals that live in family groups consisting of a territorial alpha male, females and their young. Alpacas warn the herd about intruders by making sharp, noisy inhalations that sound like a high-pitched bray. The herd may attack smaller predators with their front feet, and can spit and kick.

Spitting

Not all alpacas spit, but all are capable of doing so. "Spit" is somewhat euphemistic; occasionally the projectile contains only air and a little saliva, although alpacas commonly bring up acidic stomach contents (generally a green, grassy mix) and project it onto their chosen targets. Spitting is mostly reserved for other alpacas, but an alpaca will occasionally spit at a human.

For alpacas, spitting results in what is called "sour mouth". Sour mouth is characterized by a loose-hanging lower lip and a gaping mouth. This is caused by the stomach acids and unpleasant taste of the contents as they pass out of the mouth.

Physical contact


Most alpacas do not like being grabbed. Some alpacas tolerate being stroked or petted anywhere on their bodies, although many do not like their feet, lower legs, and especially their abdomen touched or handled.

Hygiene

Alpacas use a communal dung pile, where they do not graze. This behaviour tends to limit the spread of internal parasites. Generally, males have much tidier, and fewer dung piles than females, which tend to stand in a line and all go at once. One female approaches the dung pile and begins to urinate and/or defecate, and the rest of the herd often follows.

Because of their preference for using a dung pile, some alpacas have been successfully house-trained.

Most alpacas do not like being grabbed. Some alpacas tolerate being stroked or petted anywhere on their bodies, although many do not like their feet, lower legs, and especially their abdomen touched or handled.

Sounds


Alpacas make a variety of sounds. When they are in danger, they make a high-pitched, shrieking whine. Some breeds are known to make a "wark" noise when excited. Strange dogs – and even cats – can trigger this reaction. To signal friendly or submissive behavior, alpacas "cluck," or "click" a sound possibly generated by suction on the soft palate, or possibly in the nasal cavity.

Individuals vary, but most alpacas generally make a humming sound. Hums are often comfort noises, letting the other alpacas know they are present and content. The humming can take on many inflections and meanings.

When males fight, they scream a warbling, bird-like cry, presumably intended to terrify the opponent.

Reproduction


Females are induced ovulatorsthe act of mating and the presence of semen causes them to ovulate. Females usually conceive after just one breeding, but occasionally do have troubles conceiving. Artificial insemination is technically difficult, but it can be accomplished. Alpacas conceived from artificial insemination are not registerable with the Alpaca Registry.

A male is usually ready to mate for the first time between two and three years of age. A female alpaca may fully mature (physically and mentally) between 10 and 24 months. It is not advisable to allow a young female to be bred until she is mature, and has reached two-thirds of her mature weight. Over-breeding a young female before conception is possible is a common cause of uterine infections. As the age of maturation varies greatly between individuals, it is usually recommended that novice breeders wait until females are 18 months of age or older before initiating breeding.

The gestation period is, on average, 11.5 months, and usually results in a single offspring, or criaTwins are rare, occurring about once per 1000 deliveries.  Cria are generally between 15 and 19 pounds, and are standing 30 to 90 minutes after birth.  After a female gives birth, she is generallyreceptive to breeding again after about two weeks. Crias may be weaned through human intervention at about six months old and 60 pounds, but many breeders prefer to allow the female to decide when to wean her offspring; they can be weaned earlier or later depending on their size and emotional maturity.

Alpacas can live for up to 20 years.

Diet

Alpacas require much less food than most animals of their size. They generally eat hay or grasses, but can eat some other plants (e.g. some leaves), and will normally try to chew on almost anything (e.g. empty bottle). Most alpaca ranchers rotate their feeding grounds so the grass can regrow and fecal parasites may die before reusing the area. Alpacas can eat natural unfertilized grass; however, ranchers can also supplement grass with low-protein grass hay. To provide selenium and other necessary vitamins, ranchers will feed their domestic alpacas a daily dose of grain. Free-range alpacas may obtain the necessary vitamins in their native grazing ranges.

Digestion

Alpacas are pseudoruminants and, like other camelids, have a three-chambered stomach; combined with chewing cud, this three-chambered system allows maximum extraction of nutrients from low-quality forages. Alpacas will chew their food in a figure eight motion, swallow the food, and then pass it into one of the stomach's chambers. The first and second chambers (called C1 and C2) are where the fermentation process begins digestion. The alpaca will further absorb nutrients and water in the first part of the third chamber. The end of the third chamber (called C3) is where the stomach secretes acids to digest food, and is the likely place where an alpaca will have ulcers, if stressed. The alpaca digestive system is very sensitive and must be kept healthy and balanced.

Poisonous plants

Many plants are poisonous to the alpaca, including the bracken fern,fireweedoleander, and some azaleas. In common with similar livestock, others include: acornsAfrican rueagaveamaryllisautumn crocusbear grassbroom snakeweedbuckwheatragweedbuttercupscalla lilyorange tree foliage, carnationscastor beans, and many others.

History of the scientific name


The relationship between alpacas and vicuñas was disputed for many years. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the four South American lamoidspecies were assigned scientific names. At that time, the alpaca was assumed to be descended from thellama, ignoring similarities in size, fleece and dentition between the alpaca and the vicuña. Classification was complicated by the fact that all four species of South American camelid can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The advent of DNAtechnology made a more accurate classification possible.

In 2001, the alpaca genus classification changed from Lama pacos to Vicugna pacos, following the presentation of a paper

on work by Dr. Jane Wheeler et al. on alpaca DNA to the Royal Society showing the alpaca is descended from the vicuña, not the guanaco.

Fiber


Alpaca fleece is a lustrous and silkynatural fiber. While similar to sheep’swool, it is warmer, not prickly, and bears no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenicWithout lanolin, it does not repel water. It is also soft and luxurious. In physical structure, alpaca fiber is somewhat akin to hair, being very glossy. The preparing,cardingspinningweaving and finishing process of alpaca is very similar to the process used for wool. Alpaca fiber is also flame-resistant, and meets the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's standards.
Alpacas are typically sheared once per year in the spring. Each shearing produces approximately five to ten pounds (2.2–4.5 kilograms) of fibre per alpaca. An adult alpaca might produce 50 to 90 ounces (1420–2550 grams) of first-quality fibre as well as 50 to 100 ounces (1420–2840 grams) of second- and third-quality fibre.

Prices

The price for American alpacas can range from US$50 for a castrated male (gelding) to US$500,000 for the highest of champions in the world, depending on breeding history, sex, and color. According to an academic study,[though, the higher prices sought for alpaca breeding stock are largely speculative and not supported by market fundamentals, given the low inherent returns per head from the main end product, alpaca fiber, and prices into the $100s per head rather than $10,000s would be required for a commercially viable fiber production herd.  Breeding stock prices in Australia have fallen from A$10,000–30,000 head in 1997 to an average of A$3,000–4,000 today.
It is possible to raise up to 25 alpacas per hectare (10 alpacas per acre). as they have a designated area for waste products and keep their eating area away from their waste area, but this ratio differs from country to country and is highly dependent on the quality of pasture available (in many desert locations it is generally only possible to run one to three animals per acre due to lack of suitable vegetation). Fiber quality is the primary variant in the price achieved for alpaca wool; in Australia, it is common to classify the fiber by the thickness of the individual hairs and by the amount of vegetable matter contained in the supplied shearings.

Livestock

Alpacas need to eat 1–2% of body weight per day, so about two 60 lb (27 kg) bales of grass hay per month per animal. When formulating a proper diet for alpacas, water and hay analysis should be performed to determine the proper vitamin and mineral supplementation program. Two options are to provide free choice salt/mineral powder, or feed a specially formulated ration. Indigenous to the highest regions of the Andes, this harsh environment has created an extremely hardy animal, so only minimal housing and predator fencing are needed. The alpaca’s three-chambered stomachs allow for extremely efficient digestion. There are no viable seeds in the manure, because alpacas prefer to only eat tender plant leaves, and will not consume thick plant stems; therefore, alpaca manure does not need composting to enrich pastures or ornamental landscaping. Nail and teeth trimming is needed every six to 12 months, along with annual shearing.

Similar to ruminants, such as cattle and sheep, alpacas have only lower teeth at the front of their mouths; therefore, they do not pull grass up by the roots. Rotating pastures is still important, though, as alpacas have a tendency to regraze an area repeatedly. Alpacas are fiber-producing animals; they do not need to be slaughtered to reap their product, and their fiber is a renewable resource that grows yearly.

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Bat colony by Evometheus6082
Bat colony
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REJOICE MY FRIENDS x6 GOD HAS GIVEN US ALL  A VERY RARE AND SPECIALl GIFT BEHOLD THIS LINK www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetec…
THE LAST TIME THIS OCCURRED ADAM AND EVE'S ANCESTORS HAD BEEN GIVEN FIRE, NOW LET THIS DAY BECOME THE DAY WE BEGIN OVERCOME OUR TRIALS AS A SPECIES WITH THE HELP OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF OUR ANCESTORS AS WELL AS THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, MOSES, MUHAMMAD AND OUR GLORIOUS KING AND SAVIOR  JESUS CHRIST MAY THE NEXT 1 MILLION YEARS BE THE  AGE OF HUMANITIES RENEWAL  AND TRANSFORMATION FOR THE BETTER.

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Evometheus6082
Zach moss
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Born in 4/29/1994 in Berlin Germany. I like to take pictures of animals and mushrooms for project Noah and to make pipe-cleaner lifeforms and have higher functioning autism.
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MarielKeybash96 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You Visted my SpritelandersClub?
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Evometheus6082 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yea I was just looking around
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MarielKeybash96 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
ok
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RisenDork Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much for the birthday Llama Badge!  You are so thoughtful!

Love 
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WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
Thanks a lot for the watch!
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789lol Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ようこそに私達の基~!.::. Youkoso ni watashitachi no ki~!
:squee: *Welcome to our group~!* :squee:
Our group may just be starting out, so thank you so very much for giving us a chance and joining! I plan to submit new journals weekly, so don't miss out! Nod Also, once we receive enough support, we may even do contests, giveaways, and other community projects. So if you know any other Japanese enthusiasts, please feel free to invite them over. Heart

Thanks again,
~Tania (789lol):iconbowplz:

:iconflowerdanceplz:Share-a-bit-of-Japan:iconflowerdanceplz:
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Evometheus6082 Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for inviting me in the 1st place may the 4th be with you
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789lol Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem. xD I'm sure I saw you in another Japanese group so I thought that you might be interested is all. x3 I'm glad you're happy! / By the way, have you read the journal that I posted? fav.me/d7gs6x4

The reason I ask is that I plan on doing similar journals in the nearby future based around a certain aspect of Japanese culture that our members would like to hear about. C: Could you help me out?

I just need to know (for now xD) what are the top 5 aspects of Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about?
(In example: (tales/stories vs poems) literature, (tradition vs modern) music, (traditional vs modern) art, (t.v.m.) food, patriotic (anthem, flag, etc.), games, etc.)

Please and thank you!
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dango117 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Student Artist
welcome to autistic angels Kermityay  im one of the co founders feel free to ask me qs or chat! XD
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RisenDork Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Uncanny.  My son (Kilauea2011.deviant art) has high functioning autism.  He is a gifted photographer (animals, mushrooms and other nature-scapes) and writer.  His favorite band is Within Temptation, and he also listens to Dragonforce and Evanescence.  Our family loves watching Through the Wormhole together, too!  You should look him up -- I bet you'd find you have even more interests in common, as well as someone to share with, who understands first-hand what it is like to have a unique, blessed world-view!  Best of luck in your artistic endeavors! Ninja Sherlock Holmes 
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