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...

Nephrolepis exaltata
Vascular Plants: Ferns and Relatives

Ferns and their relatives are vascular plants, meaning they have xylem and phloem tissues. Because of the presence of va..

Psychiatry and mental disorders
Psychiatry & Mental Disorders

Different mental disorders are described here. Read this tutorial to get an overview of schizophrenia, affective mood di..

Neural Control Mechanisms
Neural Control Mechanisms

Neurons generate electric signals that they pass along to the other neurons or target tissues. In this tutorial, you wil..

Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

..

Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes
Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes

Learn about the general structure of a eukaryotic gene, the transcription factors, and post-transcriptional regulation....

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..