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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Vicugna
Species: V. pacos
Binomial name
Vicugna pacos
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is one of the four species of South American camelid, and they are domesticated. It resembles a small llama in superficial appearance. Alpacas are bred for their fiber while Llamas are used to carry burdens.[1]The hoofs of Alpaca is sometimes used as a musical instrument.


They usually eat hay or grasses, but they actually try to chew most of the things, even an empty bottle. However, there are many plants that are poisonous to Alpaca.


The Alpaca takes about 355 days until the babies are born(11-12 months). They may live up to 20 years (up to 25 years in a zoo). They are as much as 3 or 4 times the opportunity to be mowed fiber in their life. There they live together with Cameroon (sheep)and pygmy goat. [2] They were selectively bred for household goods like clothes because they have such good wool.Since the knit made from the alpaca is very warm,the knit is popular in the world.


About 5,000 to 6,000 years ago the natives began the domestication of the vicuna into the present day alpaca as a fiber producing animal.


  1. Wheeler, Dr Jane; Miranda Kadwell, Matilde Fernandez, Helen F. Stanley, Ricardo Baldi, Raul Rosadio, Michael W. Bruford (12 2001). "Genetic analysis reveals the wild ancestors of the llama and the alpaca". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 268 (1485): 2575–2584. doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1774 . PMC 1088918 . PMID 11749713 . 0962-8452 (Paper) 1471-2954 (Online).
  2. Hannover Zoo: Alpaka (in German), viewed 2012-12-06
[[Category:Domesticated animals