The Alpaca is one of the 4 South American members of the Camel family. The other three are the Llama, Guanaco and Vicuna. The alpaca is roughly half the size of the llama, averaging from 130 to 170 pounds and is bred for its fine, very warm fleece rather than as a pack animal. Both alpacas and llamas are bred in large numbers in the United States, Canada and Australia in addition to their native countries of Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
The alpaca has two toes, lower teeth but only a hard palate as opposed to upper teeth, and a very long neck with a camel type head and face. The females are mature at around age 2 while males are more likely to be fully mature at age 3. The gestation period for the female alpaca is not well defined but tends to be around 11 months. Multiple births are extremely rare and the average size of the baby ("cria") is from 14 to 21 lbs.
Open2universe 13:40, 26 July 2006 (UTC)