Llamas are pretty curious beasts – even just to look at! However, beneath that odd exterior are – of course – some even odder facts and figures! Think you know llamas well enough? They are more than towering, fuzzy pillars of spit and attitude! Here are some interesting facts about llamas that you might not already know …
Llamas can be found all over the world, from Europe to Australia and America. Of course, they are perhaps most famous for being found in the wilds of South America.
They are kept domestically, but you’ll generally find llamas roaming around hilly ranges and mountainous areas.
Llamas can grow as tall as six feet, and can weigh as much as 450lbs. Impressively, they can carry up to a further 30% of their body weight on their backs, making them fantastic cargo animals.
So – let’s address the elephant in the room – what’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca? Before drilling down into the finer points, the easiest way to tell the difference is in the size. Alpacas tend to be a lot shorter – while you might find a llama that’s around six feet tall, alpacas might only grow to be half this size!
In fact, alpacas tend to be more commonly domesticated.
Llamas have two main groups, though these are designated based on how long their fur can get. For example, you will find that there are medium-coated llamas known as Curaca, as well as short-coated llamas called Ccara.
The llama of today is descended from the ancient camelid, which went extinct, at least in North America, tens of thousands of years ago.
It’s thought that a llama can live to be 30 years old, however, they will generally live for around 20.
Llamas will likely spit at you if they are upset or feel threatened, however, they are not known to bite.
Ever smelt llama manure? Even if you wanted to, you can’t. That’s because, weirdly enough, all llama poop is completely odour-free.
Llamas have very specific diets, choosing only to each vegetation. They are also thought to have fairly efficient digestive systems, on the whole – they have to regurgitate food, however, to be able to completely digest it.
Unlike many mammals, llamas do not have a mating season. At least, they do mate, but they have no specific time of year in which they choose to do it. Once pregnant, a llama will give birth up to just less than a year from conception.
Believe it or not, there are thought to be around seven million llamas in South America alone – but who’s going around and counting?
It’s thought that the llama is a symbol of hard work and endurance, as well as that of strong responsibility.
Llamas have natural predators in big cats and dogs. As natural prey, their response is ‘flight’ – and some herd members will relay warning calls to ensure that the rest of their family makes a break for it!
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about llamas that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!