MLP Q&A No. 1: Alpaca vs Llama
Q: What is the difference between an Alpaca and a Llama?
A: Quite a lot! Both are species of South American camel (ungulates of the family Camelidae), however they are two very distinct breeds. The alpaca (Vicugna pacos) has been domesticated for over 5000 years and is primarily bred for its fine coat and meat. It is the smaller of the two animals, and wild populations are not believed to exist. The llama (Lama glama), on the other hand, has been bred for about the same amount of time to be a sturdy pack animal. It has two coats, a corse outer and soft inner coat. Llamas are reportedly quite intelligent, social animals that can readily learn simple tasks.
Despite their differences, Alpacas and llamas can successfully cross-breed. The resulting offspring are called huarizo, which are valued for their unique fleece and gentle dispositions.