Llama

ANIMAL:
Llama          Lama glama

Type of Animal:
Camel

Habitat:
Mountains, temperate high grassland, plateaus, high plains, high desert

Location(s):
Open areas & mountains of Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia. Found on farms worldwide.

Appearance:
Long-necked & woolly with pointy ears, many different coat colorations from all brown to all white to all black. Pointy, canine fighting teeth present on male. Coat thicker in winter.

Food/Diet:
Grasses, forbs, lichens, tree foliage, shrubs, shoots, grains, hay, vegetables, fruits

Status in Wild:
Domesticated

Conservation:
Breeding on farms. Bred for wool, meat, & leather.

Lifestyle:
On breeding farms, each stud male kept w/ 2-20 females & young. Future studs, geldings & other intact males kept in bachelor herds of 2-30 animals.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Bull/Macho
Female-Cow/Hembra
Young-Cria
Group-Herd

Weight:
Male-325-475 lbs
Female-250-450 lbs
Young-50-60 lbs

Gestation:
11.5 months

Height:
4-4.25 ft

Body Length:
3-5.2 ft

Life Span:
20-25 years

Tail Length:
6-9.6 in

Main predators are pumas, feral dogs, wolves, coyotes, & bears. Bobcats & lynx prey on young.

Male llamas have been known to fight to the death by biting & ripping at each other when fighting for females. They use fighting teeth to do this.

Llamas have been used by many South American cultures for wool, meat, & as pack animals to carry loads up through mountains.

Young males kicked out of herd by father when they’re as young as 10 months old.

Llamas will spit at each other to establish hierarchy.

Llama herds tend to have a few communal dung piles on pastures making llama poop fairly easy to clean up.

Were first domesticated 4,000-5,000 years ago.

In Andean regions, besides being used as transportation, leather comes from hides, ropes/rugs/fabrics from wool, poop dried/burned making fuel/fertilizer. Dead ones used for meat.

Fun Fact(s):
Switch from hunting-gathering to agriculture in Pre-Incan times might’ve only been possible w/ use of llama dung as fertilizer.

Llamas will spit if agitated but most llamas are very gentle animals. The most aggressive llamas are males that were hand-reared when young. These males become very aggressive & dangerous as adults since they don’t learn proper llama behavior & feel they are dominant towards humans. This is known as Berserk Llama Syndrome (BLS). This phenomenon can occur in females as well but is much less intense than in males.

Llamas have been used as guard animals for sheep, goats, & other livestock.
 

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