When it comes to the cuteness factor, alpacas pretty much rule the barnyard.
Sure, cows and goats are adorable, but once you see the fuzzy face, doe eyes, and long lashes of an alpaca, there’s no denying their appeal. Add in the fact that they provide silky-soft fleece that’s both useful and luxurious, and you’ve got the most perfect animal ever!
1. Alpacas hail from South America. They’re cousins to llamas, but are noticeably smaller.
2. They only grow to be a maximum of 3 feet, 2 inches tall at the withers.
3. Adults weigh between 100 and 200 pounds.
4. Their pregnancies are long, ranging from 11 to 12 months.
5. Baby alpacas are called “cria,” which means “breeding” in Spanish.
6. They usually live 15 to 20 years, but the oldest documented alpaca lived to be 27.
7. Don’t let the sweet face fool you. Just like their cousins, the llama, they tend to spit when they’re annoyed or frightened. Or sometimes, just because!
8. Alpacas are herd animals who prefer to be kept in groups.
9. Scientists believe these animals have been domesticated for more than 6,000 years.
10. The early Incas first domesticated them for their fleece.
11. They each produce between 5 to 10 pounds of fleece every year.
12. Alpaca fleece does not contain oil lanolin, so it’s naturally hypoallergenic.
13. Alpacas weren’t common in the U.S. until 1984, when select animals were imported to North America.
14. There are now around 250,000 in the U.S., according to the Alpaca Owners Association.
15. They make lots of funny sounds, including frequent humming and “orgling,” a throaty warning made by males when they sense danger.
Final fact: We are totally obsessed with these adorable creatures now that we’ve “gotten to know” them better. What do you think? Are you an alpaca fan?
Share these sweet faces with your friends so they can join our unofficial alpaca fan club.
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