Alpaca (lat. Lama Pacos) – an animal that is often grown at home and, according to assumptions, went from Vikuny. Belongs to the family of camel, the genus of the lamas and the detachment of whaling. Alternative names have no. It is considered cornol animals – herbivorous mammal that has no hooves and walk, leaning on the fingers.
Appearance and structure
Alpaca sizes are not the largest, the height at the withers can reach one and a half meters, and the weight varies on average from sixty to eighty kilograms. The main property of this mammal, without a doubt, is wool that has a large number of advantages and exceeds the wool of other animals in all parameters from which clothing is made. It is because of their thick hair, which can be white, brown or black, the alpaca is very valuable.
Even in antiquity, a robe for rich ranks was made from Lon of this animal, for example, kings or priests, and the Indians, for example, could not afford such a luxury and dressed in the wool of the closest brothers Alpak – Lam. Even now, the price of clothes from the hairline of these animals is much higher than that of others.
The appearance itself looks pretty funny: there are completely no teeth on the upper jaw, the upper lip is bifurcated and similar to camels. Its strength is very great, so the alpaks get food for themselves without any problems. The lower jaw has teeth, mostly incisors, which are located at an angle for greater convenience. With the help of such an uncomplicated structure, this fluffy mammal gets food for himself.
Unlike most other herbivores, the stomach of these ruminants has three departments instead of four. But even despite this drawback, the digestive system does not suffer in them and does not differ for the worst direction in terms of effectiveness. Thanks to this, only 1 hectare of pastures is enough for a small herd of thirty individuals.
She does not have hooves, instead of them, the feet consist of small corpus callous outgrowth. The limbs themselves are double-fingered, and at their ends there are curved claws that are not distinguished by sharpness, so they cannot be a means of protection, because of this they are used for better adhesion to the ground.
Lifestyle and behavior
Since the Alpaks are considered herd animals, they are not able to exist separately from their relatives for a long time and quickly die in such situations. The structure of the detachment is common for all herbivores: it has family groups, as well as an alpha, heading the entire herd. The largest male defends his strength in competitions, and after choosing his assistants who will become leaders in cases of his death, and only then young animals with females go to the hierarchy.
Without a herd, any individual dies in a matter of days, but the unification into groups allows them not only to run away and find food faster, but even to defend themselves from some predators, which are often acted by jaguars with pums. If the animal notices the threat, then it raises a loud roar, behind which the rest of the herd react. A similar method, because of its volume, can even scare away the enemies. In the case when the danger continues to approach despite the roar, the alpaca can use its paws or spit with saliva into enemies, thereby letting them come close. In addition, spitting switched to them from relatives, lamas, therefore they are used not only as a means to protect themselves and their family, but also for some internal showdowns.
In themselves, these herbivorous gum mammals are not particularly aggressive, in case of danger they try to scare off the illwisher or run away, and also try not to enter into conflicts, but the exception is the period of mating. At such a time, several males try to show which of them is stronger to interest the female. Therefore, even the closest and most peaceful alpaks begin to fight for their love, turning into aggressive rivals.
Where they live
It is quite problematic to give some accurate answer to the question of the place of residence of these herbivores, since they themselves have been pets for a long time. If we talk about the natural habitat, then it will be only the territory of South America, and only within the Andes, namely in highmountain areas, in which the most favorable climate for data from mammals.
In the modern world, the population was still able to expand a little and now «Fluffy lama» can be found not only in the mountains, but also in the nearest countries, for example, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia or Peru. An interesting fact can also be called that the largest herds are found precisely at the highest points of the Peruvian highlands. Moreover, they often settle closer to the border of snow, thereby having the opportunity to partly change the climate at will.
Very often, people tried to take the Alpak outside their usual territory, but this was unsuccessful for understandable reasons. If they had the opportunity to endure other climatic conditions, then they would have been found in other places, but this does not happen just due to the specifics of the body of these animals. In other countries, they simply could not take root and soon died.
What they eat
Alpaca – herbivore gum mammal, thanks to which we already know what such species feed on. They are unpretentious, capable of eating most of plant foods in their diet and have a comfortable jaw structure for this. The main ingredient in the daily diet is a fairly large amount of fresh grass, in which all the most important and important nutrients for the body are located. In addition, their nutrition is very similar to others known to each gum – horses on which many even rode or at least fed. Apples, hay, oats, special feeds or even other fruits – This is that the alpaca will eat without any problems, especially during the cold, when there is practically no grass or it is already completely absent.
Despite the fact that plant foods contain a huge amount of water, in constant replenishment of stocks, this family still needs, which is why not everyone who decided to get representatives of this type will be able to ensure their nutrition to the proper extent.
They need a regular watering water, which can take about half an hour or even more per day.
Despite the fierce battles and attempts to get only one male into their ownership, the family system is not a monogamous. The most important alpha who managed to defend their strength and prove to all the members of the herd of their Excellency can have a few more females, thereby collecting a harem. In polygamous relations, the male tries to periodically mate and fertilize every female. Such a device does not always like the weaker members of the family who may not even find their pair, which is why, during the propagation, the number of skirmishes between males doubles or even three times. But the weak are often not able to repulse more strongly if they have already lost, so they still remain alone, waiting for their wings.
Pregnancy in females lasts for 11 months, and after the cub appears. Twins are extremely rare. At birth, the weight of the baby Alpaki varies, but basically does not exceed ten kilograms, and already an hour after the birth, he can take his first steps and begin to follow the herd.
Thanks to a rather quick and timely action on the part of people who caught on time and decided to take all the alpacian populations under protection, their number practically did not fall, and the poachers even now are not able to cause some kind of mass harm. Because of this, the species is not dying, which means that the international red book is not included. But even despite the lack of status, which should warn people, the environmental legislation of Peru still does not allow to arrange the export or slaughter of alpaca in the country. At the moment, the Peruvian populations have about three million individuals, which is equal to about 90% of the entire world number.
Repeatedly a person tried to bring and introduce animals in the wild in other countries, but climatic conditions did not allow them to do this. But successful breeding on an industrial scale was still possible to implement on private farms in Australia, Europe, the USA and some other countries. For example, even in Eurasia, you can buy an individual of any gender, but the price for indigenous people is so large that hardly anyone in their right mind will make a similar purchase. The cost of females on average can reach 15 thousand dollars, and males are somewhat cheaper, because they cannot give birth and create offspring without females, so their cost with rare exceptions does not exceed even ten thousand dollars.
The largest threat to alpaki is the leopards and pums of large sizes, which just live in the usual range for these herbivorous. Due to the lack of some weighty way to protect yourself, even a small accumulation of adults will not be able to avoid an attack. In some situations, small predators are not able to cause any harm, since a huge amount of spitting and blows with front limbs quickly scare away ill-wishers.
- Once upon a time, the population of Peruvian herbivores began to suffer due to the appearance of conquistadors in Spain, who wanted to win the Inca empire. These people without delay destroyed not only significant buildings, but all the lamas and alpaks that come across them in the way. At that moment, the cruelty of warriors reached their limit and the form, in which hundreds of thousands of individuals previously totaled, began to exist on the verge of disappearance. But the skill of animals to climb into an inaccessible mountainous area allowed them to survive from the attacks of white conquerors.
- Alpak breeding for the purpose of wool production began a few centuries ago, when the Bolivian and Peruvian peasants found that clothes from the hair of this animal warm much better than the skin of sheep or other animals.
- In some cases, a spit in the face can also get a person who has come to the zoo to look at cute animals.