• Alpaca Fact Sheet #1: Key Reproductive Features

    Most domestic species show regular distinct periods of 'heat' or sexual receptivity. At each 'heat' one or more mature follicles (fluid sacs) on the ovaries ruptures spontaneously releasing an egg (ovulation). The number of follicles depends on the species. Alpaca females do not 'come on heat' but show prolonged periods of sexual receptivity during which time they will allow the male to mate (Fig. 3). Ovulation generally does not occur spontaneously and it is the act of copulation itself which induces ovulation. During copulation, the penis of the male stimulates the vagina and cervix of the female. This stimulation causes the release of hormones from the brain of the female which circulate in the blood to the ovaries and cause final development and ovulation of the ovarian follicle (Fig. 2). more »
  • Basics About Alpacas

    Alpacas are members of the camel family, which originated in the Great Plains of North America. The earliest fossils date back 40 million years ago, when the “camels” were cat sized with four toes. About 5 million years ago, some of them migrated west into Asia where they evolved into Dromedary and Bactrian camels. Others traveled south into South America. The varieties that stayed in North America died out 10-15,000 years ago. more »
  • Common Terms

    Common terminology can be very confusing for those first entering the realm of alpacas, and even more so if they do not have experience with other types of livestock or companion animals. This list of terms is intended to be of assistance to those just entering the world of alpacas. more »
  • The Origin and Evolution of the South American Camelids

    An intense study of the history of alpacas in Peru from the time of the Conquistadors to the present. more »

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