This is a Llama…

…and this is an Alpaca.

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I learned this at the County Fair this week. To the casual observer, these animals may seem very similar. One of the most obvious differences is in the ears! The llama has long, banana-shaped ears while the alpaca has shorter, pear-shaped ears. Now I suppose you may have seen a dumpy banana or a long pear at some point in your life, but this only adds to the confusion. Other distinguishing features: llamas have stiff, tangled hair but alpacas have straight, smooth hair; llamas are bigger than alpacas weighing in at between 200 and 350 pounds compared to the alpaca’s typical span of 100 to 175 pounds. Both animals are indigenous to South America.

This goes to show you that I do not attend the fair just for the Italian sausage sandwich with grilled onions and peppers (although that IS a significant incentive), but I also go to learn!

13 Comments

      1. Are we defining “classic” by age or quality?! πŸ™‚ Ogden Nash wrote a lot of nonsense poems, and many contained animals as a main focus…so I’ve always been fond of them. πŸ˜‰

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  1. Thank you for that interesting post. Here in England, especially on the edges of a city, sheep farmers regularly put three or four llamas in with their sheep. The llamas soon see themselves as the guardians of the flock and do not hesitate to fight off dogs, teenagers and so on. Definitely not animals to mess with!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And the cost of a female alpaca can be more than a decent horse! I think to keep llamas you might need some kind of zoo certificate but alpacas are now merely expensive farm animals, pets or quite cute. I want two but might have to be the cheaper boys without…!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too have always confused ilamas and alpacas. They certainly do look very similar, similar facial features. But as you pointed out, they have their differences…however I do think sometimes it’s still hard to tell which is which. I wouldn’t blame you for going to the fair for that Italian sausage sandwich. It sounds delicious πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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