Llamas, like other camelids have long necks, limbs, rounded muzzles, protruding lower incisors, and a cleft upper lip. South American camelids, including llamas, alpacas, and guanacos do not have humps as do Old World camelids. Llamas are the largest member of this group. They have long shaggy pelage which varies greatly in color. A common coat pattern is reddish brown fur with mottled patches of white or yellow.
Llamas are fairly large mammals standing about 1.21 m at the shoulder and about 1.2 m in length from head to tail. Adult L. glama can weigh from 130 to 155 kg. Unlike some other Artiodactyla, L. glama has a two toed foot with a thick leathery pad on each foot’s sole.
Llamas have an unusually high content of hemoglobin in their bloodstream and oval shaped red blood corpuscles, both of which are adaptaions for surviving in an oxygen-poor, high altitude environment. Like other members of the Camelidae, L. glama has distinctive teeth. Adult llamas retain only one upper incisor, and the lower incisors clip vegetation against hardened gums. Other distinctive features about this species include the reduction of the premolars to 2/1 and a considerable diastema between the incisors and premolars.
Range mass: 130 to 155 kg.
Average mass: 140 kg.
Range length: .92 to 1.6 m.
Average length: 1.2 m.
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
Average basal metabolic rate: 148.94 W.
- Vaughan, T., J. Ryan, N. Czaplewski. 2000. Mammalogy. United States of America: Thomson Learning, Inc..
- Parera, A. 2002. Los mamiferos de la Argentinia y la region austral de Sudamerica. Argentina: A editorial el Ateneo.
- Dias de Avila Pires, F. 2004. "Grolier Online" (On-line). Encyclopedia Americana. Accessed February 06, 2004 at http://go.grolier.com/gol.
- T., L. 2002. "Llama" (On-line). Accessed February 06, 2004 at http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/llama.htm.