Llamas are mammals that are domesticated meaning they are no longer living in the wild. They are one of the world’s first domesticated animal. Llamas are native to the South American countries of Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Llamas also live at many zoos across the U.S. To learn more about llamas, check out these fun llama facts for kids.
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What is a Llama?
Llamas are mammals. A mammal is an animal that is warm-blooded, has hair or fur, needs air to breathe, and gives birth to babies. Humans are also mammals. They are in the camelid family. Camelids are large herbivore animals with long necks and two toes. Llamas are descendants of the wild guanaco. They are related to camels. One of the main differences between a llama and a camel is that a llama does not have a hump.
Some people think that a Llama and an Alpaca are the same animal, but they are not. The llama is twice as big as an alpaca. Another big difference between a llama and an alpaca is their ears. Alpacas have short ears and Llamas have longs ears that stand up straight. Unlike llamas alpacas do not spit. Llamas and alpacas have been known to breed with each other. When this happens the animal that is born is called a huarizo. Huarizos cannot breed or have babies.
What do Llamas Look Like?
Llamas are big animals. They are tall and can grow to be 6ft. A full grown llama can weigh between 280-500 pounds. A llama’s feet have two toenails and a soft leather like pad on the bottom. Llamas can carry 25%-30% of their body weight. Because they are able to carry heavy loads they have been domesticated and used to haul goods. Llamas are covered in wool not hair. Their wool can be a variety of colors including gray, black, white, and or tan. Their wool can be a solid color or come in many patterns. Llamas wool is used to make clothing. blankets, hats and scarves. Their wool repels water, is lightweight and does not have lanolin a substance found in sheep’s wool.
What do Llamas Eat?
Llamas are herbivores meaning they only eat plants. Llamas eat grass, ferns and hay. They can eat up to 6 pounds of food a day. They chew their food a long time before swallowing . This helps them with digesting the food. Llamas only need to drink a small amount of water, which is helpful on long journeys.
Llamas live in the Andes mountain region along the west coast of South America in the countries of Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Chili. It is believed that 40 million years ago llamas lived in North America. Then 3 million years ago the llamas started to migrate to South America. At the end of the last ice age between 10,000-12,000 llamas became completely extinct in North America. You can now see llamas in Zoos and on some farms. Llamas became domesticated animals in Peru 4,000-5,000 years ago. It is one of the world’s oldest domesticated animals. Llamas are not found in the wild anymore.
Llamas are social animals and live in groups called herds. They will fight each other to be a leader in the herd.. Llamas communicate with their tails, ears and sounds. Humming is a common sound llamas make. Llamas have an excellent sense of smell, eyesight and hearing. They can runs up to 35 miles per hour.
Llamas have been used for thousands of years to carry and transport goods. They are smart animals and can be easily trained. They are also good with dealing with harsh weather conditions and environments. Their wool helps protect them in extreme temperatures.
Farmers sometimes use Llamas as guard animals to protect sheep and other animals on farms.
Mother llamas are pregnant for 11 1/2 months. They give birth standing up to usually one baby called a cria. Cria is a Spanish word for baby. Crias weigh between 18-30 pounds when they are born. About an hour after birth a circa can walk. A llama becomes full grown at 4 years old.
Llama Facts for Kids
Llamas are smart and stubborn animals, they know exactly how much weight they can carry. If you try to overload a llama, it will just stand there and not move at all.
A llamas poop doesn’t smell, funny but true. In fact llama poop is useful. The Inca people use llama poop for fuel. It is also used for fertilizer.
Llamas don’t bite but they will spit when they feel threatened. A llama may spit at a human, predator or another llama. A female llama will spit on a male llama when she is not interested in him. Their spit smells bad, you do not want to get spit on by a llama.
Llamas are the national symbol of Peru. They were a symbol of wealth in Ancient Incan civilizations.
Llamas can live between 15-30 years.
Predators to the llama are coyotes, pumas and humans.
Llama Jokes for kids
What is a llama’s favorite drink? Llamanade!
What happened when the llama looked in the mirror? It saw a spitting image!
Why weren’t the llamas getting along? Llama drama!
How do other animals ask a llama its name? Como te llama!
Why did the llama cross the road? It was the chicken’s day off!
What do you call a llama whose head is underwater? Anything you want, he can’t hear you!
What do you call a fast llama? A Llamagini!
What should you say to a group of llamas before telling them a joke? Stop me if you herd this one before!
What did the llama say to the sad camel? Don’t worry, you will get over this hump!
What’s more amazing then a talking llama? A spelling bee!
What does a llama say when meeting someone new? Fleeced to meet you!