Alpaca (Lama pacos) - Wiki
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[Photo] A pair of Alpacas from Sillustani, Peru. This picture was taken by Christophe Meneboeuf in December 2005. All the photos of his trip in Peru can be found in the following websites: "The Pixel Inn - Three weeks in Peru" (in French) http://voyages.pixinn.net/perou
The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated breed of South American camel-like ungulates, derived from the wild vicu??a. It resembles a sheep in appearance, but is larger and has a long erect neck.
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3500 to 5000 meters above sea-level, throughout the year. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas and unlike them are not used as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber (wool), used for making blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarfs, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, blankets, socks and coats in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 22 natural colours. Alpacas and llamas differ in that llamas have banana shaped ears and long tails and alpacas have straght ears and stubby tails.
In the textile industry, "alpaca" primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpaca, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair but now often made from similar fibers, such as mohair, Icelandic sheep wool, or even high-quality English wool. In trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohair and lustre. However, as far as the general purchaser is concerned, little or no distinction is made.
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