Llama

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Llama

The llama is a domestic species that is found in several South American countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador, as well as in Europe, Australia and North America. Their natural habitat is the Andean highlands. Their diet includes leaves, shrubs, roots, lichens and other types of vegetation found in the mountains. Their average life span is between 10 and 20 years.



Content List

1. Scientific & Common Names

2. Characteristics

a. Breeding

b. Behavior

3. History

4. Present Status

5. References


Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Artiodactyla

Family - Camelidae

Genus - Lama

Species - L. glama

Common Name - Llama.


Characteristics

Llamas are related to camels, but they do not have humps. They share other similar characteristics, though, such as long necks and rounded muzzles. Llamas have shaggy coats that vary in color from white to brown or reddish-brown. Adult llamas measure 47 inches at the shoulder and weigh an average of 250 pounds.


Breeding

Llamas breed between November and May. Female llamas have a gestation period that lasts from 10 to 12 months, after which they give birth to one offspring. The mother nurses and protects her young while the father guards their territory to help ensure that they have enough grazing areas. Young llamas stay with their mother until they are about 1 year old.


Behavior

Llamas form groups of up to 20, and each group is led by a dominant male. They use vocalizations to warn other herd members of predators. Llamas are very territorial and can become aggressive in order to protect their territory. They are also known for being protective of other species that live with them, such as sheep and horses. Llamas will also lie down and refuse to move and may even spit if they are asked to carry a load that is too heavy.


History

Llamas were domesticated centuries ago and continue to serve as pack animals. They can carry up to 75 pounds and travel for up to 20 miles per day.


Present Status

Llamas do not have an official conservation status because they are a domesticated species. There are roughly 3 million llamas worldwide, although most live in Bolivia. In addition to being pack animals, they provide meat and wool. Their excrement is used for fuel, and their hides provide sources of leather.


References

   http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/llama/
   http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Lama_glama/