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 ?
Por ello, el presente estudio tuvo como objetivo emplear la tecnica BOX-PCR para detectar diversidad genetica a partir de 24 cepas de P multocida de crias de alpacas con signos de neumonia.
Like sheep, alpacas need to be sheared once a year.
The RSPCA then asked her to rehome six neglected alpacas and her rescue work began.
They began breeding alpacas back in 2007 and have developed a range of hand knitted garments all made from the fleeces of their 130 alpacas.
Alpacas are herd animals and usually move and eat in groups, so you always see one or two others with them.
Our study confirms that alpacas are susceptible to MERSCoV infection; this finding is consistent with a previous eport showing that alpaca kidney cell lines possessing the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 receptor could be infected in vitro (11).
The alpacas, bred in North Wales at a farm in Bodfari, are no strangers to sheep, but this was the mountain flocK's first glimpse of them.
Two llamas and three Great Pyrenees dogs live on the farm and keep the alpaca safe from foxes, coyotes, and mountain lions.
Alpacas have padded hooves, so they're light on the landscape, and their fiber - that's the term farmers use instead of "wool" - doesn't require the chemicals often used in treating sheep wool to remove grease, Smith said as one of her prized herd, Silver Cloud, stood in the background, emitting his stress hum.
The sum is made up of "four alpacas valued at pounds 49,700, vets fees pounds 304.
Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi has spent a decade training dogs to surf, but now he has gone a step further and become the first person to pull the same trick with an alpaca.
The farm, which has 10 llamas, woolly Hungarian Mangalitza pigs, and hundreds of sheep, keeps alpacas for their wool.