llama

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llama

(lä`mə), South American domesticated ruminant mammal, Lama glama, of the camel family. Genetic studies indicate that it is descended from the guanacoguanaco
or huanaco
, wild mammal of the camel 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.
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. Smaller than the camel and lacking a hump, it somewhat resembles a large sheep with a long neck, camellike face, and long ears. It may be brown, white, black, or piebald. Llamas live in herds, owned by the indigenous population, on the high plains of the Andes Mts. and can work at altitudes that most animals cannot tolerate. The llama carries loads of up to 100 lbs (45 kg) but is never ridden. Used as a pack animal since the days of the Incas, it is also valued for its flesh, wool, and milk. It 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. See also 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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; vicuñavicuña
, wild South American hoofed mammal, Vicugna vicugna, the smallest member of the camel family. It is 30 in. (75 cm) high at the shoulder, with a long, slender neck and pale, fawn coloring.
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llama

[′yäm·ə]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of three species of South American artiodactyl mammals of the genus Lama in the camel family; differs from the camel in being smaller and lacking a hump.

llama

1. a domesticated South American cud-chewing mammal, Lama glama (or L. peruana), that is used as a beast of burden and is valued for its hair, flesh, and hide: family Camelidae (camels)
2. the cloth made from the wool of this animal
3. any other animal of the genus Lama
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