Alpacas are fun animals but not many kids, or even parents don’t know a thing about this cute camel like creatures. Well, let’s learn more about them, here are interesting facts about Alpaca for kids.
Facts About Alpacas For Kids
Alpacas Are Domesticated Camelids of South America
Alpacas and llamas are the only domesticated camelids of the South America. They were developed about 7000 years ago and worshipped by the ancient Inca civilization. The various tribes of the Andes bred Alpacas selectively to produce a fiber with such unique qualities.
Alpacas Originated From Guanaco and Vicuna
These animals originated from their wild relatives – guanaco and vicuna, which still live in the Andes in the wild.
Alpaca’s Fiber Is Extremely Durable
The civilization of Incas was based on the Alpaca’s fiber. They made clothes, roofs of the houses and even bridges of it. Besides, these animals provided food, fuel and transportation.
Alpacas Were Almost Extinct With The Arrival Of Conquistadors
The arrival of the Conquistadors brought another fiber producing animal – sheep. Spanish invaders started killing Alpaca herds to free the grazing place for their sheep herds. Many existing breeds of Alpacas disappeared and others were driven higher into the mountains.
99% of all Alpacas live in South America
About 99% of all Alpacas live in South America. Only in the 1980’s were Alpacas imported into other countries. The Alpaca industry of the USA, Canada and Europe is still developing. There are about 30,000 Alpacas in the USA today.
Alpacas Are Heard Animals
Alpacas are very herd-oriented animals and should be kept in groups of 3-4 individuals. They band together if frightened, so it is simple to move them as a group.
Alpacas Are Gentle And Loyal as Pets
The character of Alpacas is very gentle and loyal and that makes them good companions for children and wonderful therapy animals.
Alpacas Are Very Intelligent
They can be taught to perform simple tricks and to pull a cart. Alpacas are very intelligent and clean animals.
Alpacas Are Very Clean
Unlike horses, alpacas, as a herd, tend to select one area in a pasture to do their business, making manure management much easier. Alpaca dung makes excellent fertilizer and is basically odorless.
Alpacas Communicate With Sounds, Noises and Body Language
Alpacas communicate with each other with a variety of quiet noises and body language. The most common sound is a low soft humming. They recognize intruders and make alarm sounds.
Alpacas Like To Cool In The Water When It is Hot
Baby Alpacas are very curious and sniff and touch everything. In hot weather Alpacas like to cool down in cold water.
Alpacas Are Not Llamas
Alpacas are confused with llamas by many, partly because we tend to see more llamas and, not having seen Alpacas, assume they are about the same. Unlike llamas, the alpaca does not make a good pack animal. It is a very tough, hardy animal, but not built to carry heavy loads.
Alpacas Like To Spit Other Alpaca But Not Humans
One thing they do have in common with llamas however is they spit! Nearly all members of the camel family do that, but when alpacas spit they are almost always spitting at each other, usually when trying to establish a hierarchy at feeding time. If you get spit on by an alpaca it’s usually because it was aiming for another alpaca, and you just happened to step in the way. An alpaca spitting on a human on purpose is a rare thing.
Alpaca’s Fiber Is High Quality
With alpacas, the fiber is the thing. They are native to high altitudes and can get along fine in a freezing cold environment. Their fiber is extremely dense and soft to the touch. The fiber retains its natural color, but also dyes quite easily, and clothing made from alpaca will usually last for years. Besides clothing, alpaca fiber makes excellent blankets, and is even used in upholstery. The alpaca is shorn once a year.
Alpacas Natural Habitat Is Above 4000 Meters
Alpacas live in the Andes in semi-domesticated state. The herds are kept at great height over 4,000 meters on the altiplano and feed on very scarce vegetation. The climate is extremely changeable there. It is very hot in the summer; in the winter it is very cold with sharp wind and heavy rain, especially at night.
There Are Two Types Of Alpacas
There are two distinct types of Alpaca the Suri and Huacaya. The distinction between types is based on their fur. The Suri is often said to be the Alpaca with dreadlocks. Of the two types the Suri is considerably less common than the Huacaya. The Huacaya is the “teddy-bear” Alpaca and has a smooth wooly coat.
Alpacas Come in Over 22 Different Colors
Alpaca come in over 22 different natural colors shades, and can be bred for specific color.
At birth the small baby Alpaca is only 15 to 19 pounds. Baby Alpaca is called a Cria.
The average lifespan of the Alpaca is between 20 and 25 years.