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What’s the difference between a llama and an Alpaca

Alpaca fearthers
Alpaca Furry

Both Llama and alpaca are types of hoofed mammals that is belived to be originated from the Andes in South America. It belongs to the camel family and carries differences in their size, their hair, and their face shapes. Alpaca thrives in the regions of humid and wet foothills whereas llama prefers cold and dry plains on the higher altitudes. Both hoofed mammals are strictly herbivores and diest is mostly based on various types of grass (and hay), lichens and leaves. Both Llama and alpaca is belived to be domesticated 4000 to 5000 years ago and are some of the most popular species in North and South America. They are close relatives but there are differences between Llama and alpaca in size, the morphology of Face and Ears, fur, behaviour, lifespan and association with Humans as well. We will discuss whats the difference between a llama and an alpaca.

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Alpaca fearthers
Alpaca Furry

Alpacas has two breeds the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca.It should be kept in herds where they will graze on the level heights of the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 m to 5,000 meters above sea level. The animal species used to communicate with others through body language and it will spit when in distress, fearful and even to show dominance. Llamas believed to have domesticated the Incas 4,000 to 5,000 years ago and prefer mountainous terrain whether mountainous deserts or grasslands. Llamas can be divided into two groups, the first is short-coated known as Ciara and the other one is medium coated known as Curacao. Llamas have an excellent sense of smell, eyesight and hearing. Let us discuss all these differences between alpaca and llama one by one,

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llama
llama

What’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca

1.Size

Llama can grow upto 10 inches taller measuring at the shoulder hieght and much heavier as compared to the alpaca. It can weigh approximately 290 to 440 pounds of weight compared to alpaca that rarely exceeds the weight of 175 pounds.

Alpaca furry
Alpaca

2.Differences Between Face and Ears

Talking about the appearances, Alpaca comes with a blunt face along with spear-shaped ears and a straight and short appearance. llama has an elongated face that comes with banana-shaped ears and has a long and curved appearance.

llama Mammal
llama Hoofed Mammal

3.Fur

Alpaca is known to have only single fur that comes with a very fine texture. Though alpaca are smaller in size, it produces much more fleece compared with a llama. Alpaca appear in more than 20 different colors that can carry shades between pure white and black and various shades in between, however, llama comes with a double coat that has a soft inner coat and very coarse guard hair on the surface of the body. Llama dont have much hair on the body whereas alpaca whose head is covered with dense and fluffy hair.

alpaca near mountains
alpaca near mountains

4.Behavior

Llama and alpaca has similar behaviour since they both are social animals that appear in large herds. The only difference is that llama is more independent and even courageous compared to alpaca and even used to guard a herd of alpacas, sheep and other small animals. Llama is very friendly and will be a gentle pet where alpaca is a timid and quiet animal and can be easily trained because of his intelligence.

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Brown llama
Brown llama

5.Lifespan

The avarage lifespan of the llama is upto 30 years in the wild but mostly they have been seen living between the age of 15 to 25 years. The avarage lifespan of alpaca is sightly smaller where life in the wild is unknown but they used to live 20 years in captivity.

Alpaca Head
Alpaca Head

6.Llama and Alpaca Importance For Humans

Both Llama and alpaca are some of the most important animal species in Latin America. Llama is the source of meat and used for transportation of heavy load as well. Alpaca is very rarely used as a source of meat and people it as a source of luxury fibres which are very strong just like silk and well known for their durability. The fibre obtained from alpaca used to manufacture sweaters, ponchos, socks, scarves, gloves, hats and other knitted and woven items.

llama head
llama head

These are the difference between a llama and an Alpaca. Kindly share and do post your comments.

Written by Kane Dan

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