The Alpaca Animal
- The Suri alpaca is a member of the camelid family, which includes the llama, Huacaya alpaca, the wild vicuna and guanaco, and yes, the camel. The Suri dates back between 5 to 20 thousand years and is known from archaeological records to have been domesticated for 6,000 years. Among the people of the Andes, the woven fabric from the fleece of the alpaca was so soft and alluring that it was used as currency. The Suri alpaca has unique fiber characteristics that distinguish the Suri from the rest of the camelid family. Unlike the soft fuzzy look of the Huacaya alpaca, the Suri's long, separate, distinctive locks are comprised of twisted or flat fibers that drape down the sides of the Suri's body. The Suri's fiber has a cool, slick hand; soft as cashmere, warmer than wool, with the luster of silk.
- Anatomical structure.
- Areas of discussion • Blue eyed whites are not deaf! • Alpaca is lighter than wool! Alpaca has a thermal insulation, 30% better than wool and Cashmere due to its hollow fibre! • Alpaca does not retain water! • Alpaca is 7 times stronger than sheep's wool! Alpaca has 3 times the tensile strength than wool! • Alpaca is prickle free! • People are not allergic to alpaca due to no lanolin/grease! Alpaca does not have lanolin in the fleece! • Alpaca resists solar radiation! • Alpaca is more durable than sheep's wool!
- These notes: have been written to be consistent with community, industry and research and teaching based animal welfare legislation
- 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.
- 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.
- Adorable, docile and soft, alpacas are prized as pets and cattle around the world. There are no wild alpacas. Alpacas are domesticated versions of vicuñas, South American ruminants that live high in the Andes. Alpacas are related to llamas, which are domesticated versions of another wild Andean ruminant, the guanaco. While llamas are used as pack animals, alpacas are raised mainly for their soft wool.
- In this article, you are about to see that the South American Camelids appear to be a physiological and anatomical blend between cattle, horses, pigs and cats! I will point out these similarities as the article progresses.
- An intense study of the history of alpacas in Peru from the time of the Conquistadors to the present.