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|Genus:|| Lama |
| Camelus guanicoe |
Lama is a genus containing four South American camelids, the wild guanaco and vicuña, and the domesticated llama and alpaca. Before the Spanish conquest of the Americas, llamas and alpacas were the only domesticated ungulates of the continent. They were kept not only for their value as beasts of burden, but also for their flesh, hides, and wool.
Although they were often compared to sheep by early writers, their affinity to the camel was soon perceived. They were included in the genus Camelus in the Systema Naturae of Linnaeus. In 1800, Cuvier moved the llama, alpaca, and guanaco to the genus Lama, and the vicuña to the genus Vicugna. Later, the alpaca was transferred to Vicugna; both were eventually returned to Lama by the American Society of Mammalogists in 2021.  These camelids are, with the two species of true camels, the sole extant representatives of a distinct section of Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) called Tylopoda, or "hump-footed", from the peculiar bumps on the soles of their feet. This section consists of a single family, the Camelidae, the other sections of the same great division being the Suina or pigs, the Tragulina or chevrotains, and the Pecora or true ruminants, to each of which the Tylopoda have some affinity, standing in some respects in a central position between them, sharing some characters from each, but showing special modifications not found in any of the others.
Discovery of the extinct fauna of the American continent of the Paleogene and Neogene periods, starting with the 19th-century paleontologists Leidy, Cope, and Marsh, has revealed the early history of this family. Llamas were not always confined to South America; their remains are abundant in the Pleistocene deposits of the Rocky Mountains region, and in Central America; some of these extinct forms were much larger than any now living.
None of these transitional forms has been found in Old World strata; North America was the original home of the Camelidae family. The ancestor of modern camels crossed Beringia into Eurasia and Africa about 7 million years ago, and The ancestor of the modern llamas entered South America via the Isthmus of Panama about 3 million years ago, as part of the Great American Interchange. The Old World camels were gradually driven southward into regions of Asia and Africa, perhaps by changes of climate, and having become isolated, they have undergone further special modifications. Meanwhile, the New World llamas became restricted to South America following the peopling of the Americas by Paleo-Indians and the accompanying extinction of the megafauna.
A possible variety is the hueque or chilihueque that existed in central and south-central Chile in pre-Hispanic and early colonial times. Two main hypotheses on their status among South American camelids are given: the first one suggests they are locally domesticated guanacos and the second suggests they are a variety of llamas brought from the north into south-central Chile.  Chilihueques became extinct in the 16th or 17th century, being replaced by European livestock.  The causes of its extinction are unknown.  According to Juan Ignacio Molina, the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of chilihueques by native Mapuches of Mocha Island as plough animals in 1614. 
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Lama glama||Llama||Domesticated worldwide|
|Lama guanicoe||Guanaco||Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and in Patagonia, with a small population in Paraguay.|
|Lama pacos||Alpaca||Domesticated worldwide|
|Lama vicugna||Vicuña||Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru; introduced to Ecuador|
These characters apply especially to llamas. Dentition of adults:-incisors 1/3 canines 1/1, premolars 2/2, molars 3/2; total 32. In the upper jaw is a compressed, sharp, pointed laniariform incisor near the hinder edge of the premaxilla, followed in the male at least by a moderate-sized, pointed, curved true canine in the anterior part of the maxilla. The isolated canine-like premolar which follows in the camels is not present. The teeth of the molar series which are in contact with each other consist of two very small premolars (the first almost rudimentary) and three broad molars, constructed generally like those of Camelus. In the lower jaw, the three incisors are long, spatulate, and procumbent; the outer ones are the smallest. Next to these is a curved, suberect canine, followed after an interval by an isolated minute and often deciduous simple conical premolar; then a contiguous series of one premolar and three molars, which differ from those of Camelus in having a small accessory column at the anterior outer edge.
The skull generally resembles that of Camelus, the relatively larger brain cavity and orbits and less developed cranial ridges being due to its smaller size. The nasal bones are shorter and broader, and are joined by the premaxilla. Vertebrae:
Ears are rather long and pointed. No dorsal hump is present. Feet are narrow, the toes being more separated than in the camels, each having a distinct plantar pad. The tail is short, and the fur is long and woolly.
The llama and alpaca are only known in the domestic state, and are variable in size and color, being often white, black, or piebald. The wild guanaco and vicuña are of a nearly uniform light-brown colour, passing into white below. The vicuña and guanaco share an obvious family resemblance and may be difficult to tell apart at a distance. The vicuña is smaller and slenderer in its proportions, and has a shorter head than the guanaco.
The guanaco has an extensive geographical range, from the high lands of the Andean region of Ecuador and Peru to the open plains of Patagonia, and even the wooded islands of Tierra del Fuego. It constituted the principal food of the Patagonian Indians, and they use its skin for the material from which their long robes are made. It is about the size of a European red deer, and is an elegant animal with a long, slender, gracefully curved neck and slim legs. The vicuña ranges throughout the Western Andes.
A camel is an even-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus that bears distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back. Camels have long been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food and textiles. Camels are working animals especially suited to their desert habitat and are a vital means of transport for passengers and cargo. There are three surviving species of camel. The one-humped dromedary makes up 94% of the world's camel population, and the two-humped Bactrian camel makes up 6%. The wild Bactrian camel is a separate species and is now critically endangered.
The llama is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.
The even-toed ungulates are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, absent, vestigial, or pointing posteriorly. By contrast, odd-toed ungulates bear weight on an odd number of the five toes. Another difference between the two is that many other even-toed ungulates digest plant cellulose in one or more stomach chambers rather than in their intestine as the odd-toed ungulates do.
Dentition pertains to the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth. In particular, it is the characteristic arrangement, kind, and number of teeth in a given species at a given age. That is, the number, type, and morpho-physiology of the teeth of an animal.
Tylopoda is a suborder of terrestrial herbivorous even-toed ungulates belonging to the order Artiodactyla. They are found in the wild in their native ranges of South America and Asia, while Australian feral camels are introduced. The group has a long fossil history in North America and Eurasia. Tylopoda appeared during the Eocene around 50 million years ago.
Camelids are members of the biological family Camelidae, the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda. The seven extant members of this group are: dromedary camels, Bactrian camels, wild Bactrian camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. Camelids are even-toed ungulates classified in the order Cetartiodactyla, along with species including whales, pigs, deer, cattle, and antelopes.
The dromedary, also known as the dromedary camel, Arabian camel, or one-humped camel, is a large even-toed ungulate, of the genus Camelus, with one hump on its back.
The Bactrian camel, also known as the Mongolian camel or domestic Bactrian camel, is a large even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. It has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary. Its population of 2 million exists mainly in the domesticated form. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.
The guanaco is a camelid native to South America, closely related to the llama. Guanacos are one of two wild South American camelids, the other being the vicuña, which lives at higher elevations.
The vicuña or vicuna is one of the two wild South American camelids, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes, the other being the guanaco, which lives at lower elevations. Vicuñas are relatives of the llama, and are now believed to be the wild ancestor of domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their coats. Vicuñas produce small amounts of extremely fine wool, which is very expensive because the animal can only be shorn every three years and has to be caught from the wild. When knitted together, the product of the vicuña's wool is very soft and warm. The Inca valued vicuñas highly for their wool, and it was against the law for anyone but royalty to wear vicuña garments; today, the vicuña is the national animal of Peru and appears on the Peruvian coat of arms.
A cama is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama, and has been produced via artificial insemination at the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai. The first cama was born on January 14, 1998. The aim was to create an animal capable of higher wool production than the llama, with the size and strength of a camel and a cooperative temperament.
Camelops is an extinct genus of camels that lived in North and Central America, ranging from Alaska to Honduras, from the middle Pliocene to the end of the Pleistocene. It is more closely related to the Old World dromedary and bactrian and wild bactrian camels than to the New World guanaco, vicuña, alpaca and llama; making it a true camel of the Camelini tribe. Its name is derived from the Ancient Greek κάμηλος and ὄψ, i.e. "camel-face".
Stenomylus is an extinct genus of miniature camelid native to North America that died out around 30 million years ago. Its name is derived from the Greek στενός and μύλος.
Titanotylopus is an extinct genus of terrestrial herbivore in the family Camelidae, endemic to North America from the late Hemphillian stage of the Miocene through the Irvingtonian stage of the Pleistocene. It was one of the last surviving North American camels, after its extinction, only Camelops remained. Its closest living relative is the Bactrian camel.
A huarizo is a cross between a male llama and a female alpaca. The most common hybrid between South American camelids, huarizo tend to be much smaller than llamas, with their fibre being longer. Misti, a similar hybrid is a cross between a male alpaca and a female llama. Huarizo are sterile, but recent genetic research conducted at the University of Minnesota Rochester suggests that it may be possible to preserve fertility with minimal genetic modification. However, many owners have reported that their Huarizos and Mistis are fertile.
The alpaca is a species of South American camelid mammal. It is similar to, and often confused with, the llama. However, alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related and can successfully crossbreed. Both species are believed to have been domesticated from their wild relatives, the vicuña and guanaco. There are two breeds of alpaca: the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca.
Hemiauchenia is a genus of laminoid camelids that evolved in North America in the Miocene period about 10 million years ago. This genus diversified and moved to South America in the Late Pliocene approximately 3 to 2 million years ago, as part of the Great American Biotic Interchange, giving rise to modern lamines. The genus became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene.
Lamini is a tribe of the subfamily Camelinae. It contains one extant genus with four species, all exclusively from South America: llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. The former two are domesticated species, while the latter two are only found in the wild. None display sexual dimorphism. The four species can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Additionally, there are two extinct genera known from the fossil record.
A hybrid camel is a hybrid between a Bactrian camel and dromedary.
Incan animal husbandry refers to how in the pre-Hispanic andes, camelids played a truly important role in the economy. In particular, the llama and alpaca—the only camelids domesticated by Andean men— which were raised in large-scale houses and used for different purposes within the production system of the Incas. Likewise, two other species of undomesticated camelids were used: the vicuña and the guanaco. The guanacos were hunted by means of chacos.