The majority of llamas currently inhabit in western South America's high Andes Mountains. They are found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and, most notably, Peru. However, there are small populations in other parts of South America as well.
Llamas were first domesticated by the Inca people around 1450-1540 AD. Today, they remain largely within the borders of Peru where they are used for transportation, work, and entertainment. Although they are capable of walking long distances when needed, llamas are generally not kept for travel but rather used as a source of meat and milk.
Llamas are unique among camelids because they will not grow to be large. On average, they will reach about 150 pounds (68 kg) and stand over 48 inches (122 cm) at the withers. But even with this size difference, a llama's weight is still less than that of a horse or cow.
They also have a different head shape than other camels. The llama's head is more like a donkey's than a camel's. Also unlike other camels, the llama has only two teeth on the left side of its mouth. These missing teeth make it easier for the animal to eat plants without damaging them.
The Llama's Geography Llamas may be found all over the world, including Australia, Europe, and North America. These herbivorous pack animals are not uncommon in South American nations such as Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. They are very common in Peru. There are even Llama farms where they are raised for their meat, milk, and wool.
Llamas can grow to between 45 and 60 pounds (20-25 kg) and stand about 1.5 feet (0.5 m) at the shoulder. Their color varies depending on their breed, but generally llamas are gray or black with a white belly and face. There are two llama species: the alpaca lives in South America; the guanaco lives in South Africa.
Both species were used by the Inca people as transportation and food. The Spanish introduced horses into South America, which bred with the indigenous horses to produce the modern horse. The Inca also developed a special breed of dog called the schnauzer that is still used today for hunting gophers and other small creatures.
Today there are more than one million llamas in South America. In 2001, there were only about 100,000 guanacos in South Africa, but scientists think this number will increase as more ranchers learn how valuable guanacos are as livestock.
Llamas may be found all over the world, including Australia, Europe, and North America. There are even special reserves where they can be seen in large numbers.
In fact, there are more than a million living on private land in Peru, which is about one lama for every two people. Although they are usually seen in rural areas, some individuals have been known to live in small towns and cities too.
The largest population of llamas is in Colombia, where they are used for tourism purposes. Here they are often seen near hotels in the Andes mountain range.
In Africa, llamas are commonly used by locals to transport goods across rugged terrain, similar to mules. Some travelers use them as a form of transportation in Namibia and Botswana when hiking or camping along dusty roads.
In North America, llamas are most common in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They are used for both recreational and commercial purposes here, including packing meat and mining products.
Llamas can survive in harsh conditions because they are good at finding food even when it's cold or dry. They will also eat anything from plants to meat.