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Llama

About...

Class: Mammal

Order: Artiodactyla  

Family: Camelidae

Genus: Lamaglama

Size: 3 -4 feet high at the shoulder and weigh 280 – 450 pounds.

Breeding: Females 14 – 24 months and mates once every two years.

Mating: anytime but usually from November to May

Gestation:11 months or 350 days

No. of Young: 1; weight at birth 20-35 pounds

Lifestyle: Live in herds

Diet: Grass, herbs, shrubs, and other plants.

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Member of the camel family and known as “ships of the Andes”, male llamas have been used as beasts of burden in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes Mountains for more than 4,000 years at which time they became domesticated. They are able to utilize poor quality forage from elevations of 3,000 – 5,000 feet. The sure-footed animals can carry as much as 200 pounds for 12 hours a day, but they are not ridden.  When weary or overloaded, llamas lie down and refuse to move, often spitting at their driver. 

The females are raised for their flesh, which tasted somewhat like mutton, and for their milk, which is used extensively in western South America. The meat of the males is tough and rarely eaten.

The long coarse wool of both sexes comes in many colors; white, black, gray, beige, brown and red and is used in weaving of textiles, and the skins are tanned for leather. Llama tallow is used for making candles. The long hair is braided and used for rope, and the dried excrement is used as fuel. 

There are still over 8 million Llamas in the world.




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