Facts About Llamas

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800px-Llama_lying_down

Llamas are camel-like animals that have both wild and domesticated species.  They are said to have originated from North America but most of them can now be found in Peru and other South American countries like Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador.  Llamas are smaller versions of camels without the characteristic hump on the back.  They survive on grass and the domesticated kinds have helped humans over the centuries.  The first and original llamas were attributed to the North Americas but over hundreds of years they disappeared in the North and became common only in the South particularly in Peru.  With domestication, llamas are re-introduced in parts of the US and other areas in South America.  Below are some interesting facts about these animals:

Fact 1:  Llamas are social animals.  They prefer to stay with groups of other llamas or herds.  This is also true for the domesticated breeds that tend to interact with other animals like them.

Fact 2:  Llamas spit when they are threatened.  This is a behavior that they share with their camel cousins.  Instead of biting or attacking, they spit when feeling aggressive or being threatened.

Fact 3:  Llamas are domesticated because of their intelligence.  They are also bright enough to be taught simple tasks or to help with simple chores like cart pulling for example.  Similar to camels, most llamas are used to carry heavy loads of up to 30% of their body weight.

Fact 4:  Female llamas are able to give birth while standing up.  Many four-legged animals may give birth lying down but the llamas differentiate themselves by standing up.  The whole birthing process involves only about 30 minutes and the baby llamas can easily get out while the mother is standing up.

Fact 5:  Llamas were considered sacred by Inca Indians.  Their contribution in terms of livelihood and support for simple tasks earned them the respect from the Inca tribe.  For these ancient people, llamas not only serve a practical purpose but are regarded as sacred gifts.

Fact 6:  The wool from llamas is considered a luxury item.  They are considered precious and of good quality and even command a very high price.  The fibers of the wool are also fireproof which further enhances its quality.

Fact 7:  Llamas are trustworthy companions.  Many people often liken them to dogs that are always loyal and can be trusted with minor tasks.  Llamas are known to be social and intelligent which are ideal qualities for companion animals.

Fact 8:  The Llamas’ stomach has 3 compartments.  This anatomical setup is ideal for survival purposes.  When there is limited supply of food, their stomachs will help them endure for longer periods before eating grass again.

Fact 9:  Female llamas are protective of their kind.  This is especially true when a mother llama is giving birth.  The other females in the herd typically circles around the mother llama to protect her from the males and other predatory animals that may attack the calves.

 Fact 10:  Llamas are also used as protectors of other animals.  Their protective instinct makes them ideal guard animals for sheep and other livestock from possible predators.  These small camel-like animals are also very intelligent that they can be trusted with this simple task.

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