You must have seen them somewhere, no doubt. Whether it be on the highlands of South America or indeed from the pictures, alpacas are a sight not to be forgotten soon. These domesticated, llama-like creatures with their fluffy, eccentric haircuts have a lot in common with their camel cousins. Still, the Queen of the Andes may surprise you in quite a few ways!
1. The Potent Spit
See that seemingly mild face? Well, don’t let it fool you; it might be about to issue a whole lot of saliva on an unsuspected target. Still, Alpacas, unlike some of their cousins, don’t target people unless they’re distressed. An alpaca’s spit is most often reserved for one of the fellows, especially when a female wants to ward off a liaison proposal.
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2. The Strange Noises
Although most of the time alpacas communicate by benevolently humming their melodious tunes, sometimes they’ll issue an unearthly, bird-like shriek. The males are the ones prone to shrieking, but only when they feel endangered or engaged in a fight.
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3. They Go Long Back
Alpacas are no novelty, they’ve been grazing and smiling for more than 6000 years! As far as we know, Inca were the first to live with them.
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4. Precious Fiber
Although no vicuña in this matter, alpaca fleece is still very highly prized by the textile industry. It’s soft, exceedingly dense, renewable, and believe it or not, flame-resistant. After all, the royalty of Inca should know, they used alpaca fleece to make their clothes.
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5. Look At My Hair, And Despair
They know they’re beautiful; oh, they do! Alpacas, the domesticated animals that they are, can be sheared in different manners, crafting the hair styles that exceed ours by some margin.
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6. Alpaca Day!
In New Zealand, every year there comes a time for the National Alpaca Farm Day. At that glorious day, the alpaca farms open their gates, and are free for visits. If you find yourself near New Zealand around that time, make sure to clear your schedule!
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7. They Don’t Poop Wherever
Alpacas are a very stout advocates of having a communal dung pile. In that sense, they’re cleaner than most animals out there. Some of them are even house-trained because of this. Oh, and their manure is an excellent fertilizer!
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8. They’re Very Sociable
Besides pooping together, alpacas also graze together, play together, and sleep together. This animal is most comfortable when within a group. Their sociable nature extends even to humans, as alpacas very much enjoy being petted.
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9. Alpaca + llama = Baby Huarizo
Alpacas, being closely related to llamas, hold their cousins in high regard. The feeling being mutual, these two species can crossbreed. The offspring of this union are called huarizo.
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10. They Eat In Figure-eight Motion
Alpacas are both the herbivores and chewers, and while they go about their business eating, they can be a lot of fun.
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