Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
- Up to 20 years.
- Length: 5 to 7 feet
- Weight: 200 to 400 pounds
- Mountains, alpine grassland, plateaus, and shrub lands
- Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.
- However, there are no true wild llamas.
- Wild: Grasses, herbs, shrubs, lichens; chews cud.
- The llama does not drink much water, getting most of its moisture from the plants it eats.
- Zoo: Timothy hay, and llama chow.
- Female llamas are "induced ovulators" which means they mate first and then the egg follows. Usually, it is the other way for most mammals.
- The gestation period can last approximately 350 days (11 to 11 ½ months).
- Usually, llamas give birth to a single young or "cria" as they are called in South America.
- Twins are very rare.
- Females do not lick the cria clean after birth due to their short, attached tongue which can only stick out around ½ inch.
- The mouth has a divided upper lip and continually growing teeth, allowing it to graze tough grasses.
- Llamas are ruminants, meaning they rechew their food after is has passed through some of the chambers of the stomach before digesting it again.
- This way, they get maximum nutrients from their food.
- The camel families are the only mammals that have oval red blood cells for more efficient oxygen transport.
- They walk on pads at the end of their toes instead of their hooves so they can travel easily over rocky ground.
- Wool protects them from harsh climates.
- When angry or under attack, they spit up a foul smelling liquid from their stomach.
- The Andean Indians used llamas in many ways.
- They carried goods, produced meat, wool and leather.
- They used their fatty tissue for candles, made rope and garment with the hair, made sandals from the hide, and even used the dry dung for fuel.
- The Spanish Conquistadors used nearly 300,000 llamas to haul silver from the Incan mines when they invaded South America in the 1500s.
- In the U.S. today, llamas are used as pack animals and for their wool, although, both these uses are becoming obsolete.
- Llamas are not currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because they are domestic animals.
- CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
- IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
- Lama glama (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/309018
- Burnie, Dave and Don E. Wilson. Smithsonian Institution. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife.New York, New York. DK Publishing, Inc. 2001.