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Whats the Difference Between Alpacas and Llamas 

Whats the Difference Between Alpacas and Llamas, do you know the difference? Some people think they are one and the same, but there are actually several key differences between these two types of animals.

In this blog post, we will outline the most important distinctions between alpacas and llamas. So, if you’re ever wondering “What’s the difference between alpacas and llamas?” now you’ll know!

What is an Alpaca?

An alpaca is a domesticated South American camelid (camel family), on the outside they don’t exactly look like camels but do have some elements that are similar.  For example, alpacas have long necks and legs and a short tail. Alpacas also chew a cud like camels do, but they don’t have the hump that most people associate with these animals.

There are two types of alpacas- the Huacaya alpaca and the Suri alpaca .  The Huacaya alpaca is the most common, making up about 90% of the alpaca population.  These animals have dense, crimped fleece that grows in a downward direction. Suri alpacas, on the other hand, have long and lustrous fiber that grows in silky locks or pencils and hangs down from their bodies.

Alpacas are found in the highlands of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia.  These animals were first domesticated about 6000 years ago and were used for their fiber, meat, and milk. Nowadays, alpacas are still used for these purposes but they have also become popular as pets in many parts and like our resident alpaca enjoy leading you through our woodland. See our alpaca treks

Do Alpacas Spit?

Yes, alpacas do spit- but only when they are agitated.  When an alpaca is feeling threatened, it will open its mouth and make a loud hissing noise before forcefully expelling air and saliva from its mouth. Alpacas usually only spit at each other or at humans that they don’t know, so if you have an alpaca as a pet, you probably don’t have to worry about being on the receiving end of this behaviour!

What is an Llama?

Llamas are also domesticated South American camelids, and they are actually the largest members of this family.  These animals have long necks and legs and short tails like alpacas, but they also have that distinctive camel hump. Llamas are not as common as alpacas- there are only about three million llamas in the world compared to the nearly Seven million alpacas.

Llamas are used for their fiber, meat, and milk like alpacas, but they are also often used as pack animals because they can carry heavy loads.  These animals are found in the mountains of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Whats the Difference Between Alpacas and Llamas 

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of alpacas and llamas, let’s compare and contrast these two animals.  Here are the key differences between alpacas and llamas:

  • – Alpacas are smaller than llamas
  • – Llamas have a hump on their back while alpacas do not
  • – Alpacas come in two types (Huacaya and Suri) while llamas only come in one type
  • – The fiber of alpacas is considered to be higher quality than the fiber of llamas
  • – Llamas are more often used as pack animals than alpacas
  • Alpacas come in a wider variety of colors than llamas
  • Llamas spit more than alpacas do (They only spit when threatened)

Why not book a trek and get up and close with our alpacas

We hope this article helped clear up the difference between alpacas and llamas.  If you want to get up and close with these animals why not book one of our treks. We have a selection of different routes that will let you experience stunning views as well as getting to know the animals.

Why not try Alpaca walking in Sevenoaks, kent today today? Click here for more information.

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