guanaco

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guanaco

(gwänä`kō) or

huanaco

(hwän`äko), wild mammal of the camelcamel,
ruminant mammal of the family Camelidae. The family consists of three genera, the true camels of Asia (genus Camelus); the wild guanaco and the domesticated alpaca and llama, all of South America (genus Lama
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 family, Lama guanicoe, found on arid plains in the Andes Mts. It is about 3 1-2 ft (105 cm) high at the shoulder, with a long neck; it is brown on the back and sides, with light underparts and a dark face. Although previously regarded by some authorities as the ancestor of the domestic llamallama
, South American domesticated ruminant mammal, Lama glama, of the camel family. Genetic studies indicate that it is descended from the guanaco. Smaller than the camel and lacking a hump, it somewhat resembles a large sheep with a long neck, camellike face, and long
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 and alpacaalpaca
, partially domesticated South American mammal, Lama pacos, of the camel family. Genetic studies show that it is a descendant of the vicuña. Although the flesh is sometimes used for food, the animal is bred chiefly for its long, lustrous wool, which varies
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, genetic studies show that only the llama is descended from it. The guanaco is not domesticated, but indigenous South Americans use its flesh for food and make its hide into clothing and other coverings and its bones into various implements. Encroachments on its grazing land have reduced its numbers. The guanaco is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Camelidae.

Guanaco

 

(Lama guanicoe), a mammal of the genus Lama of the family Camelidae. It has a streamlined, slender body; the neck and extremities are long, the trunk shortened. The body measures 120–175 cm long; the height at the shoulder is 90–100 cm. The guanaco weighs 48–96 kg. Its body is covered with short (6–10 cm), brownish, wooly fur. The animal is found in the high-altitude arid semideserts of the Andes (up to 5,000 m) in South America. It is a polygamous herd animal. Mating occurs in midwinter; the female bears a single offspring after an 11-month gestation period. The guanaco feeds on grassy vegetation. It is hunted for its meat and hide, as a result of which its numbers have been sharply reduced.