Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (1) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is the largest and most widely distributed wild artiodactyl (even-toed hoofed mammal) in South America. It is the most important native herbivorous species in the South American steppes and the dominant ungulate (hoofed mammal) in a fauna rich in rodents but poor in large mammal species. As of 2006, populations of guanacos were estimated to number a bit under 1 million individuals. As of 2008 guanacos were protected in 22 reserves: 14 in Argentina, 4 in Chile, 3 in Peru, and 1 in Bolivia--leaving only the Paraguayan populations unprotected. (de Lamo et al. 2001; Márin et al. 2008 and references therein)

Although guanacos traditionally played a major role in the lives of some South American aboriginal peoples, populations declined after the introduction of domestic sheep into Patagonia in the early 1900s, largely as a result of conflicts with sheep breeders. Researchers have estimated that there were about 30 to 35 million free-ranging guanacos in South America prior to colonization by Europeans. By the end of the 20th century, this number had dropped to 400,000 to 600,000, distributed over less than half of the historic range (more than 90% of the population is found in Patagonia in Argentina). Montes et al. (2006) proposed the development of sustainable methods for live-trapping and shearing free-ranging guanacos. (Montes et al. 2006 and references therein)

Guanacos are found from sea level to altitudes of about 4500 m in arid, semi-arid, hilly, mountain, steppe, and temperate forest habitats from Peru (8°S) southward to the central eastern and western slopes of the Andes and across Patagonia, including Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island (de Lamo et al. 2001; González et al. 2006 and references therein).

The guanaco is one of four South American camelids (mammals in the camel family) recognized today, two of which are wild species, the guanaco and the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), and two of which are domesticated forms, the alpaca (Lama pacos) and the llama (Lama glama). Wild vicuña and guanaco diverged from a shared ancestor two to three million years ago. (Wheeler 1995). At one time it was widely believed that both the domestic alpaca and the llama were derived from guanacos. However, in light of new archaeozoological evidence from 6000 to 7000 years ago in the central Peruvian Andes linking alpaca origins to the vicuña, Kadwell et al. (2001) investigated the origins of these domesticated forms using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. Their results supported the hypothesis that the alpaca is derived from the vicuña (and confirmed the hypothesis that the llama is derived from the guanaco), although this work also revealed genetic evidence of historical hybridization and gene flow (at least among domesticated forms). Chromosomal analyses have also indicated that the llama was derived from the guanaco and the alpaca from the vicuña (Marín et al. 2007). Given the well established divergence between the guanaco and vicuña, many authors suggest that the correct name for the alpaca is therefore Vicugna pacos (Kadwell et al. 2001; Marín et al. 2007).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Shapiro, Leo

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Biology

The guanaco is flexible in its feeding habits, foraging mainly on grasses and shrubs (2) (3) (9), but also taking lichens, cacti and succulent plants when other food sources are scarce (1) (8). The guanaco is surprisingly graceful in its movements, and is capable of running at speeds of up to 56 kilometres per hour. Its blood is able to carry more oxygen than other mammals, enabling it to function well at high altitudes (2). Groups of up to 30 female guanacos and their young live on feeding territories defended by a single adult male, the boundaries of the territory being marked by communal dung heaps, known as latrines. Young and non-territorial males are found either alone or in all-male groups, although groups of all ages and sexes may form in migratory populations during winter (2) (6) (9). The female guanaco gives birth to a single offspring each year, in spring, after a gestation of 345 to 360 days (2) (3) (9). The long gestation period and the often harsh environment mean that the female has to be ready to mate again within two weeks of giving birth (3). The newborn is able to run and follow the female almost immediately after birth, and remains with the group until around 13 to 15 months old, when it is usually forced out by the adult male (2) (3). Sexual maturity is reached at 12 to 24 months, and captive guanacos may live up to 28 years (2). After leaving the family group, young male guanacos spend three to four years in all-male bachelor groups, practicing fighting skills and competing for dominance with other males, in readiness to challenge territorial males for control of a group of females. Rivals are fought with neck wrestling and chest ramming, often accompanied by a high-pitched scream and low growl (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Described by Charles Darwin as “an elegant animal, with a long, slender neck and fine legs” (5), the guanaco is the largest wild member of the camelid family in South America (6), and is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic llama (6) (7). The woolly coat is a light fawn brown on top, with white undersides and a gray to black head (2) (3) (6), and the area around the lips, the edges of the ears and the insides of the legs are also white (6). Like other camelids, the guanaco walks on enlarged sole pads, with only the tips of the hooves touching the ground; in the guanaco these pads are moveable and help give grip on rocky and gravelly terrain (2) (3). Four subspecies of guanaco have been described in the past, based on differences in skull measurements, coat colouration and body size (2) (6) (8). However, recent genetic studies recognise only two subspecies, Lama guanicoe guanicoe and the more northerly Lama guanicoe cacsilensis (8) (9).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comprehensive Description

The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is the largest and most widely distributed wild artiodactyl (even-toed hoofed mammal) in South America. It is the most important native herbivorous species in the South American steppes and the dominant ungulate (hoofed mammal) in a fauna rich in rodents but poor in large mammal species. As of 2006, populations of guanacos were estimated to number a bit under 1 million individuals. As of 2008 guanacos were protected in 22 reserves: 14 in Argentina, 4 in Chile, 3 in Peru, and 1 in Bolivia--leaving only the Paraguayan populations unprotected. (de Lamo et al. 2001; Márin et al. 2008 and references therein)

Although guanacos traditionally played a major role in the lives of some South American aboriginal peoples, populations declined after the introduction of domestic sheep into Patagonia in the early 1900s, largely as a result of conflicts with sheep breeders. Researchers have estimated that there were about 30 to 35 million free-ranging guanacos in South America prior to colonization by Europeans. By the end of the 20th century, this number had dropped to 400,000 to 600,000, distributed over less than half of the historic range (more than 90% of the population is found in Patagonia in Argentina). Montes et al. (2006) proposed the development of sustainable methods for live-trapping and shearing free-ranging guanacos. (Montes et al. 2006 and references therein)

Guanacos are found from sea level to altitudes of about 4500 m in arid, semi-arid, hilly, mountain, steppe, and temperate forest habitats from Peru (8°S) southward to the central eastern and western slopes of the Andes and across Patagonia, including Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island (de Lamo et al. 2001; González et al. 2006 and references therein).

The guanaco is one of four South American camelids (mammals in the camel family) recognized today, two of which are wild species, the guanaco and the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), and two of which are domesticated forms, the alpaca (Lama pacos) and the llama (Lama glama). Wild vicuña and guanaco diverged from a shared ancestor two to three million years ago. (Wheeler 1995). At one time it was widely believed that both the domestic alpaca and the llama were derived from guanacos. However, in light of new archaeozoological evidence from 6000 to 7000 years ago in the central Peruvian Andes linking alpaca origins to the vicuña, Kadwell et al. (2001) investigated the origins of these domesticated forms using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. Their results supported the hypothesis that the alpaca is derived from the vicuña (and confirmed the hypothesis that the llama is derived from the guanaco), although this work also revealed genetic evidence of historical hybridization and gene flow (at least among domesticated forms). Chromosomal analyses have also indicated that the llama was derived from the guanaco and the alpaca from the vicuña (Marín et al. 2007). Given the well established divergence between the guanaco and vicuña, many authors suggest that the correct name for the alpaca is therefore Vicugna pacos (Kadwell et al. 2001; Marín et al. 2007).

Guanacos are around 100 to 120 kg, with slender limbs and neck. The upper parts are dark fawn brown, the underparts are white, and the face is blackish. The wooly coat is longest on the flanks, chest, and thighs. Females have four mammae. (Nowak 1991 and references therein)

Like the llama, the guanaco feeds by both grazing and browsing (the vicuña and alpaca are strictly grazers) (Nowak 1991 and references therein).

Di Rocco et al. (2010) published a comparative analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the guanaco and the mitochondrial coding sequence of the vicuña.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Shapiro, Leo

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Found from southern Peru down the Andean zone of Chile and Argentina to Tierra del Fuego and Navarino Island. There is also a population in far western Paraguay.

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The guanaco has a wide but fragmented distribution across much of South America, from the north of Peru to southern Chile, including Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, and on the islands of Tierra del Fuego and Navarino (1) (3) (9). Feral populations also exist in the Falkland Islands (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

They stand at 1,100 to 1,200mm at the shoulder and have slender bodies with long limbs and neck. The head is typical of camelids with long, pointed ears and cleft, highly mobile lips. Their fur can be long, thick and wooly, especially along the flanks, chest and thighs. It is reddish-brown dorsally, and the underparts are white.

Range mass: 115 to 140 kg.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Guanacos inhabit grasslands and shrublands from sea level to 4,000m. Occasionally they winter in forests.

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; mountains

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Inhabiting a range of arid and semiarid habitats, including desert grassland, savanna, shrubland, and sometimes forest, the guanaco can be found at elevations from sea-level to over 4,500 metres (3) (6) (9). While some populations are sedentary, others make seasonal migrations, including moving to lower altitudes, to avoid snow cover or drought (2) (3) (9).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 2.0 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Guanacos are herbivores that can inhabit dry areas and forego drinking for long periods. They are versatile foragers, both browsing and grazing on grasses and plants.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
28.3 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
20.0 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 33.7 years (captivity) Observations: These animals can live up to 33.7 years in zoos (Richard Weigl 2005).
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Females are apparently induced ovulators, and especially in the southern end of the range breeding reaches a peak in February. Young are born in December to February after an eleven month gestation period. They weigh 8-15kg at birth and nurse for eleven to fifteen months. Females may begin to breed as early as one year of age, sometimes younger, though two to three years old is more typical.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

Average birth mass: 11500 g.

Average gestation period: 335 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
730 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
365 days.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lama guanicoe

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AACCGCTGATTATTTTCAACAAACCACAAAGATATCGGTACCCTCTATCTGCTATTCGGCGCTTGGGCTGGGATAGTAGGAACAGGGCTA---AGTCTATTAATTCGAGCCGAATTAGGACAGCCCGGAACACTACTCGGAGAT---GACCAAATCTACAACGTAGTTGTTACGGCCCACGCATTTGTTATAATTTTCTTTATAGTTATACCAATCATGATCGGAGGCTTCGGAAATTGACTAGTTCCTTTAATG---ATTGGCGCACCAGACATGGCATTCCCCCGTATGAACAACATGAGCTTCTGGCTGCTACCCCCCTCATTCCTACTACTTCTAGCATCATCCATAGTTGAAGCTGGGGCAGGCACTGGTTGAACTGTTTACCCTCCTCTAGCCGGAAACCTGGCCCATGCAGGTGCTTCTGTTGACCTA---ACTATTTTCTCTTTACACCTAGCAGGAGTATCTTCAATCCTAGGGGCCATTAATTTTATTACTACTATCATCAACATAAAACCACCCGCCATATCCCAATATCAGACTCCCCTGTTCGTCTGATCCGTCTTAATCACCGCTGTCCTCTTACTGCTCTCCCTGCCAGTACTAGCAGCC---GGTATTACTATACTACTAACAGATCGTAACTTAAACACAACTTTCTTTGATCCTGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCCATCCTGTACCAACACCTATTCTGATTCTTCGGCCATCCAGAAGTCTATATTCTAATTTTACCCGGCTTTGGAATAATCTCCCACATCGTCACTTACTACTCTGGAAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGCTACATGGGAATAGTCTGAGCTATGATATCCATTGGCTTCCTAGGCTTTATTGTGTGAGCCCACCACATATTTACCGTAGGCATAGACGTAGATACACGCGCTTATTTTACATCCGCCACAATAATCATTGCAATCCCAACGGGAGTAAAAGTATTTAGTTGACTA---GCAACACTCCACGGAGGT---AACATTAAATGATCCCCCGCTATACTATGAGCTCTAGGCTTTATCTTCCTGTTCACCGTAGGAGGTCTAACAGGAATTGTACTAGCCAATTCATCATTAGATATTGTTCTTCACGACACATATTATGTAGTTGCCCATTTCCACTATGTC---TTATCAATGGGGGCAGTATTTGCCATCATAGGAGGACTAATCCACTGATTCCCATTATTCTCGGGATATACTATTGATGATACATGGGCAAAAATTCAGTTCGCAATTATATTTGTAGGCGTAAATCTAACTTTCTTCCCACAACACTTTTTAGGTCTCTCTGGAATACCTCGA---CGCTACTCTGACTACCCAGATGCCTACACC---ACATGAAACACTATCTCATCTGTAGGCTCCTTCATCTCCTTAACAGCAGTCATACTAATGGTTTTTATTGTATGAGAGGCATTTGCATCAAAACGAGAAGTT---ATAACCGTAGAGCTAACAGCCACCAAT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lama guanicoe

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Guanacos have had their numbers drastically reduced due to human pressures of habitat encroachment, habitat destruction, and hunting. In addition, climatic changes are also blamed for decreases in population size and range.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Thought to number up to 50 million when Europeans first arrived in South America (2) (3) (9), the guanaco has since undergone a steep decline, particularly during the last century, and now numbers fewer than 600,000 individuals, 90 percent of which are found in Argentina (1) (9). Although still relatively widely distributed, the guanaco now occupies only 40 percent of its original range, and has become fragmented into often small and relatively isolated populations, increasing the risk of local extinctions in some areas (1) (9). L. g. cacsilensis is the more threatened subspecies, numbering perhaps fewer than 3,000 individuals, in small, isolated populations (9). Major threats to the guanaco include overhunting, for skins, meat and wool, as well as poaching, habitat degradation, and the fragmentation and isolation of its populations due to development and the use of barbed wire fences. Overgrazing and drought, possibly linked to climate change, pose further threats to its habitat (1) (6) (9). The large decline in guanaco numbers in the last century is thought to largely result from the introduction of domestic sheep, which monopolise the best feeding areas and compete with the guanaco for food (1) (9) (10). Sheep breeders often kill the guanaco, viewing it as a competitor with sheep and a possible source of disease transmission (2) (6) (9), although it has been suggested that the diseases of domestic livestock are likely to threaten the guanaco rather than the other way around (1) (11).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation

Although still relatively numerous and widely distributed, and occurring in a number of protected areas, the guanaco is thought to be dependent on effective conservation measures for its long-term survival (1) (6). The species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in the guanaco and its products should be carefully regulated (4). Although protected under various legislation over much of its range, illegal hunting and trade still persist, and lack of adequate funds, difficulties in enforcing legislation, and few incentives for local people to participate in guanaco conservation often make effective protection difficult (1) (6) (9). Conservation priorities for the guanaco include accurate population surveys, adequate habitat protection and management, regulation of hunting quotas and better control of poaching, as well as increased public awareness. Without urgent action it is thought that the guanaco may soon be lost from parts of its range (1) (6) (9). Sustainable use of wild guanaco populations may offer some hope for the species, and may also provide an alternative to traditional agricultural practices in some areas, helping to reduce the risk of overgrazing, and contributing to rural development (6). Such sustainable use programmes often take the form of live-shearing initiatives, whereby wild guanacos are caught, sheared for their wool, and then released. However, although the process itself may not cause high mortality, the long-term effects on guanaco populations are still unknown (1) (9) (12).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Guanacos have long been hunted for their meat and fur. They are believed to be the ancestor to the now domesticated llamas and alpacas, which are important as beasts of burden and for their fur.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Guanaco

For other uses, see Guanaco (disambiguation).

The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid native to South America that stands between 1 and 1.2 metres (3 ft 3 in and 3 ft 11 in) at the shoulder[2] and weighs about 90 kg (200 lb). The colour varies very little (unlike the domestic llama), ranging from a light brown to dark cinnamon and shading to white underneath. Guanacos have grey faces and small straight ears. The name guanaco comes from the South American language Quechua word wanaku (old spelling, huanaco).[3] Young guanacos are called chulengo(s).[4]

Population and distribution[edit]

Herd of Guanacos

The guanaco is a vulnerable animal native to the arid, mountainous regions of South America. Guanaco are found in the altiplano of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. In Chile and Argentina, they are more numerous in Patagonian regions, as well as in places like the Torres del Paine National Park, and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. In these areas, they have more robust populations, since there are limitations on grazing competition from livestock. Bolivian Indians have been known to raise guanaco to help them regain their population stability.[clarification needed] A guanaco’s typical lifespan is 20 to 25 years.[citation needed]

Estimates, as of 2011, place their numbers at 400,000 to 600,000.[5]

Guanacos live in herds composed of females, their young and a dominant male. Bachelor males form a separate herd. While female groups tend to remain small, often containing no more than ten adults, bachelor herds may contain as many as 50 males. When they feel threatened, guanaco alert the herd to flee with a high-pitched bleating call. The male will usually run behind the herd to defend them. They can run with a speed of 56 km (35 mi) per hour, often over steep and rocky terrain.[6] They are also excellent swimmers.

Guanacos are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America (along with the manatee, the tapir, and the jaguar). They have only one natural predator, the cougar.[7] Guanacos will often spit when threatened.[8]

To protect its neck from harm, the guanaco has developed thicker skin on its neck, a trait still found in its domestic counterparts, the llama and alpaca, and its wild cousin, the vicuña. Bolivians use the necks of these animals to make shoes, flattening and pounding the skin to be used for the soles. In Chile, hunting is allowed only in Tierra del Fuego, where the only population not classified as endangered in the country resides. Between 2007 and 2012, 13,200 guanacos were legally hunted in Tierra del Fuego.[9]

Mating season[edit]

Mating season occurs between November and February, during which males often fight violently to establish dominance and breeding rights.[clarification needed]

Eleven-and-a-half months later, a single chulengo is born.[10] Chulengos are able to walk immediately after birth. Male chulengos are chased off from the herd at approximately one year of age.

Domestication[edit]

Although the species is still considered wild, there are around 300 guanaco in US zoos and around 200 registered in private herds.[11] Guanacos are the parent species of the domesticated llama.

Hemoglobin levels[edit]

Guanacos are often found at high altitudes, up to 13,000 feet above sea level, except in Patagonia, where the southerly latitude means ice covers the vegetation at these altitudes. To survive the low oxygen levels found at these high altitudes the blood is rich in red blood cells. A teaspoon of guanaco blood contains about 68 billion red blood cells, ~four times that of a human.[12]

Guanaco fiber[edit]

Guanaco fiber is particularly prized for its soft, warm feel and is found in luxury fabric. The guanaco's soft wool is valued second only to that of the vicuña. The pelts, particularly from the calves, are sometimes used as a substitute for red fox pelts, because the texture is difficult to differentiate. Like their domestic descendant, the llama, the guanaco is double coated with a coarse guard hair and soft undercoat, which is about 16-18 µ in diameter and comparable to the best cashmere.[13]

Atacama Desert[edit]

The remains of a Guanaco scattered in the Atacama desert, southwest of Cerro Paranal. The only intact section of skin is the one around the neck

Some Guanacos live in the Atacama Desert, where in some areas it has not rained for over 50 years. A coastline running parallel to the desert enables them to survive. Where the cool water touches the hot land, the air above the desert is cooled, creating a fog and thus, water vapor. Winds carry the fog across the desert, where cacti catch the water droplets and lichen that cling to the cacti soak it in like a sponge. When the guanacos eat the cacti flowers and the lichen, the water is transferred to them.[14]

See also[edit]

Guanacos near Torres del Paine, Chile

References[edit]

  1. ^ González, B., Funes, M., Cuéllar, E., Villalba, L., Hoces, D. & Puig, S. (2008). Lama guanicoe. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ Stahl, Peter W. (4 April 2008). "Animal Domestication in South America". In Silverman, Helaine; Isbell, William. Handbook of South American Archaeology. Springer. pp. 121–130. ISBN 9780387752280. 
  3. ^ "Guanaco – LAMA GUANICOE". America Zoo. Lesley Fountain. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Species Profile: Guanaco". Concervación Patagonia. 
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Guanaco: Lama guanicoe, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Strömberg
  6. ^ Discovery Animal Guides - Guanacos
  7. ^ San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes.
  8. ^ National Geographic
  9. ^ Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, 2012. Plan de Manejo para a población de guanacos en el área agropecuaria de Tierra del Fuego (Chile). Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, Gobierno de Chile. Punta Arenas, 47pp.+Annexes.
  10. ^ "Guanaco: Lama guanicoe". World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "ROYAL FIBERS - Guanacos Facts". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Visit Englands Finest Safari Park & Zoo near Liverpool & Manchester". Knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  13. ^ Beula Williams (2007-04-17). "Llama Fiber". International Llama Association. 
  14. ^ Produced by Huw Cordey (2006-04-02). "Deserts". Planet Earth. BBC. BBC One.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!