Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Worlds Weirdest Animal Alpaca
The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid developed from the wild alpacas. It resembles a sheep in appearance, but is larger and has a long erect neck as well as coming in many colors, whereas sheep are generally bred to be white and black.
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Ecuador, southern Peru , northern Bolivia , and northern Chile at an altitude of 3500 to 5000 meters above sea-level, throughout the year.
Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike them are not used as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber. Alpacas only have fleece fibers, not woolen fibers, used for making knitted and woven items much as sheeps wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America , and sweaters, socks and coats in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru , 12 as classified in Australia and 22 as classified in America .