alpaca


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alpaca

(ălpăk`ə), partially domesticated South American mammal, Lama pacos, 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. Genetic studies show that it is a descendant of the 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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. Although the flesh is sometimes used for food, the animal is bred chiefly for its long, lustrous wool, which varies from black, through shades of brown, to white. Flocks of alpaca are kept by indigenous people in the highlands of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. They feed on grasses growing close to the snow line, and they require a pure water supply.

The Incas had domesticated the alpaca and utilized its wool before the Spanish Conquest, but subsequently the alpaca and the llama were extensively hybridized, leading to a gradual reduction in the amount of high quality alpaca wool. Exporting of alpaca wool to Europe began after Sir Titus Salt discovered (1836) a way of manufacturing alpaca cloth. Breeding alpacas is a small but growing industry in the United States, Canada, and some other non-Andean nations.

Alpacas are 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.

alpaca

[al′pak·ə]
(vertebrate zoology)
Lama pacos. An artiodactyl of the camel family (Camelidae); economically important for its long, fine wool.

alpaca

1
1. a domesticated cud-chewing artiodactyl mammal, Lama pacos, closely related to the llama and native to South America: family Camelidae. Its dark shaggy hair is a source of wool
2. the cloth made from the wool of this animal
3. a glossy fabric simulating this, used for linings, etc.

alpaca

2 (sometimes), alpacca
a type of nickel silver used in jewellery
References in periodicals archive ?
Beth Osborne of The Alpaca Hacienda in Temecula, California, originally entered the alpaca industry concentrating solely on the breeding of high-end breed stock.
Significantly smaller than llamas, alpacas are usually kept in herds that graze on the level heights in places such as the Andes of southern Peru.
Free seminars including Alpaca 101 farming education for beginners to advanced, Alpaca Breeding practices do's & don't from the experts, Current market trends, Fiber-n-More, “Barley Fodder Mat Production: An Alternative Approach to Livestock Feed with Lower Costs and Increased Herd Health,” A Live International Auction for breeding rites to some of Americas National Champion Herdsire Studs.
What's nice is that when it's time to get the job done, other alpaca farmers in the area will come help, and I help them shear their sheep, too.
A show spokeswoman said: "Visitors can experience live demonstrations of felting, hand spinning and crochet work or simply check out the alpacas and learn more about the husbandry involved in keeping these special animals.
Alpaca fibers have a number of qualities that make them useful for bedding products.
Rachel Hebditch, a spokeswoman for Alpaca-UK, who are organising the two-day show planned for March 16 and 17, said: "The show is a celebration of all things alpaca.
Nicole, 43, said she loves playing farmer, growing her own food and tending to her alpaca herd with her husband, country and western superstar Keith Urban, and two-year-old daughter Sunday Rose.
The alpaca is, like the llama, a "charming and valuable member of the camelid family," according to the sign age at the weekend's inaugural Alpaca Festival of Oregon at the Lane Events Center.
Summary: Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi has managed to teach an alpaca how to catch waves.
Knitting woolen hats and mitts for sale at her alpaca farm in Matheson may be a far cry from her former life as an aircraft maintenance planner in the British Isles and Gabon, Africa, but Jo-Anne Burton wouldn't change a thing.