Llamas are much more than just funny looking animals you see at petting zoos. They actually have a long, interesting history and have contributed immensely to humanity. In fact, they were actually worshiped by the Incas at one point in time.
As you can see, there is much to learn. Here are six must-know facts about llamas:
1. Llamas Evolved into Camels
Llamas originated on the content of North America around 40 million years ago. They first migrated to asia by crossing the Bering land bridge before it was submerged in the Bering sea. The tough and arid climate caused them to gradually evolve into what we know today as camels.
The humps they developed allowed the camels to store fat which they would use for energy when food was not readily available. Some camels have two humps because they inhabit harsher environments than one-humped camels.
2. They Moved South During the Ice Age
These days, llamas are commonly associated with the Andes mountains in South America. Most people don’t know they are originally from North America. During the Ice Age, North American llamas moved to South America in search of a warmer climate and landed in Peru. Surrounded by desert, they quickly made the Andes mountains – full of greenery with an absence of predators – their home. Llamas can also be found in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina.
3. Llamas Have Three Stomachs
Llamas will eat just about anything. They are definitely not picky eaters thanks to them actually having THREE stomachs. But don’t get confused, they are still cheaper to feed than most animals, including cats and dogs.
4. The Males Annoy the Females
Female llamas quickly tire of the males. When a male and a female are kept together, the female will reject the male. Sometimes, she will even spit on him to be left alone. This is why professional breeders keep the males and females in separate fields. Most breeders will also keep two sets of males to keep the female interested.
5. Llamas are Used in Therapy
Despite the fact that llamas are known to spit, they are actually some of the most docile creatures on the planet. In fact, their presence is so calming and relaxing that they are often used in therapy. You can even find certain groups like the 4-H club and the Scouts that have regular llama petting sessions so everyone can experience the therapeutic effect of a llama.
6. They are Used for More than Transportation
Llamas are extremely useful to humans. Not only are they useful for transportation, their dung is actually an excellent fuel source in areas where quality fuels are hard to come by. Even in death, their hides can be turned into leather and their meat is highly edible.
Llamas Make Everything Better
Llamas are way more interesting than you thought, aren’t they? There are tons of fun facts out there that we can’t even begin to touch on in this article, so feel free to do some more digging. And if you want to see a real-life llama, we have two of our own at Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary, and they love company!