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Camelid




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Camelid
A Bactrian Camel walking in the snow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Tylopoda
Family: Camelidae
Gray, 1821
Genera

Lama
Vicugna
Camelus

Map of the world showing distribution of camelids. Solid black lines indicate possible migration routes.

Camelids are a group of even-toed ungulate mammals. They form the family Camelidae. There are six living species of camelids.

Taxonomy

The animals of the genus Camelus are also called Afro-Asiatic Camelids. The animals of the genus Lama and genus Vicugna are also called South American Camelids.

Hybrid

There also exists a camelid hybrid called a Cama. It is the child of a female Llama and a male Dromedary Camel.

Habitat

The two Camelus species originally lived in northern Africa, south-west and eastern Asia. The other four camelids lived in South America.

Camelids and humans

Camelids have been domesticated by humans for about 5000 years. They have been important for transport, but were also kept for wool, meat and milk. The llama and alpaca were very important for the South American cultures, like the Inka. The camels were used by people in north Africa and Asia, especially in deserts.

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