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Colchester Zoo
The llama is thought to have originated in North America around 40 million years ago and the llama is believed to have then migrated to South America and Asia around 3 million years ago, before the American and Asian continents finally separated at Alaska. The llama is thought to have become extinct from North America during the ice age.

Today the llama is most commonly found in the Andes mountain region of South America where the llama was kept as a pack animal by the ancient Inca people. Llamas are used for meat, wool, skin and for transporting heavy loads (a little like donkeys).

The llama is thought to have evolved from the old world camel-like animals that inhabited the regions that is today the Middle East. Although the llama has many similarities to the camel, the most noticeable difference between the llama and the camel is that the llama does not have a hump on its back.

Llamas are very sociable animals and enjoy being with other llamas in a herd. The llama is also believed to be a particularly intelligent animal as llamas are commonly taught tasks which the llama picks up with only a few repetitions of the task.

Female llamas give birth to baby llamas (known as crias) standing up. The gestation period for a llama is between 11 and 12 months and the birth of the cria is usually over within half an hour. Baby llamas are generally standing up and attempting to walk within an hour of birth. Llama mating takes place throughout the year and baby llamas tend to be born in the morning when the weather is warm. This is believed to increase the fertility rate of the cria.

The llama is a herbivore and gets most of its nutrition from grass, leaves and young shoots. Llamas also do not have the same water retaining properties of their camel cousins, meaning that the llama must drink more often and llamas therefore prefer to be close to water.

Llama Comments (12)


"Awesome website,my two best friends and I looked at llamas!:)"


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Llamas are my bae

"Love my pet llama"

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Llama Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Lama Glama
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
1.7-1.8m (5.5-6ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
130-204kg (280-450lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
45km/h (28mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
15-20 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Tan, Brown, White, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Leaves
The specific area where the animal lives...
Mountainous deserts and grasslands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Leaves, Grass, Shoots
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Puma, Coyote
Special Features:Thick furry coat and long neck

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About double the size of a domestic cat!
Long and heavy spiralled horns!