Dictionary > Alpaca

Alpaca

Definition
noun, plural: alpaca or alpacas
(1) A camelid with long, fine, wooly hair, and closely related to llama, vicugna, and guanaco
(2) The fiber or fleece from alpaca
Supplement
Alpaca is a domesticated camelid of the family Camelidae. As a camelid, it is characterized by having a long and slender neck as well as long legs. They do not have hooves but feet with two toes and soft pads. It is closely related to llama, guanaco, and vicuña. It is smaller though than llama. And unlike llama that is domesticated to be a beast of burden, the alpaca is breed for their fiber or fleece. Their fleece is used for making blankets, gloves, scarves, sweaters, etc.
Formerly, the scientific name of alpaca is Lama pacos. In 2001, it was changed to Vicugna pacos based on the DNA report by Dr. Jane Wheeler and others. It also implicated that the alpacas descended not from the guanacos but from the vicugnas.1 Alpacas are of two breeds: Suri and Huacaya.
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Camelidae
  • Tribe: Lamini
  • Genus: Vicugna
  • Species: V. pacos (Linnaeus, 1758)

See also:

Reference(s):

1 Wheeler, J., Kadwell, M., Fernandez, M. Stanley, H. F., Baldi, R., Rosadio, R., & Bruford, M. W. (December 2001). “Genetic analysis reveals the wild ancestors of the llama and the alpaca”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 268 (1485): 2575–2584.


You will also like...

Community Patterns

Learn about community patterns and the ecological factors influencing these patterns. Revisit some of the ecosystems you..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

The process of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

Adaptive Radiation
Adaptive Radiation

The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..

Control of body movement
Control of Body Movement

Some of the body movements can be controlled at will, others cannot. The body has a motor program, which is the pattern ..

Growth Patterns
Growth Patterns

This tutorial describes the sigmoid curve, annual plant growth, tree growth, human growth, and insect growth as the grow..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics