HomeKnittingAlpaca Vs Llama, 11 Variations of Alpacas & Llamas w/ PICS

Alpaca Vs Llama, 11 Variations of Alpacas & Llamas w/ PICS

Assume Alpacas and llamas are the identical animals? Truthful sufficient, they appear alike. They’re from the identical household, Camelidae, however they’re totally different creatures.

To unravel the nice thriller of an alpaca vs llama, I describe their similarities on this article. Subsequent, I record the variations, tricks to determine them, and enjoyable information.

Alpaca with toffee colored fleece
Alpaca, so cute

Llama vs Alpaca – 11 Key Variations

  • Face – Alpacas – brief & blunt | Llamas – lengthy & pronounced
  • Ears – Alpaca Ears – brief & spear-shaped | Llama – lengthy & curved
  • Top – Alpacas – 81-99cm | Llamas – 1.7-1.8m
  • Fleece – Alpaca – nice & fluffy | Llama – brief & coarse
  • Physique – Alpacas – brief & rounded | Llamas – lengthy & straight
  • Function – Alpaca – Fleece | Llama – Pack Animal, Guard, Meat
  • Spitting – Alpacas – Hardly | Llamas – Usually
  • Power – Alpaca – Weak | Llama – Sturdy
  • Habits – Alpacas – Social | Llamas – Unbiased, Curious
  • Temperament – Alpaca – Timid, Light, Good | Llama – Assured
  • Weight – Alpacas – 48-84kg (150 lbs) | Llamas – 130-200kg (400 lbs)

Quickly, you’ll know every little thing on easy methods to inform the distinction between an alpaca and a llama!

Desk Of Contents

Necessary Be aware: There are 4 animals associated to one another. The alpaca, the llama, and their camelid household cousins, vicunas, and guanacos.

In case you’re an alpaca farmer or llama farmer, you will need to should cope with individuals complicated your animals on a regular basis!

First regarded as domesticated by the Inca Empire in historic instances, Machu Picchu was a hive of exercise for breeding and rearing these creatures. They’re nonetheless in and round Machu Picchu right now!

Regardless of being native to South America, there are about 300,000 Alpacas and llamas in the USA.

Alpacas reside as much as 4,500m above sea stage, and llamas as much as 5,500m.

Llama with brown fleece
Hi there there Llama


Huacaya and Suri Alpacas
Huacaya and Suri Alpacas

Domesticated Alpacas are descendants of the wild South American ‘vicuña,’ from the camelid household, native to the central Andes.

At first look, they appear indistinguishable from llamas, however there are variations!

Enjoyable Reality: The scientific title of Alpacas is ‘Vicugna pacos.’ ‘Vicugna’ seems like ‘vicuna,’ and vice-versa.

In 1974, they had been endangered. Poachers hunted them. There have been 6000 left. These days, their numbers have recovered to roughly 350,000.

Their (camels) camelid cousin, vicuñas, are smaller than alpacas and guanacos and are extra delicate.


There are two breeds of alpaca, Suri, and Huacaya.

  • Suri hair is lengthy, straight, and tassel-like, a bit like dreadlocks. The hair grows towards the bottom. Lower than ten p.c of the alpaca inhabitants are Suris.
  • Huacaya has brief, crimpy, and fluffy fleece. Although they appear plump and rounded, their neck and physique are slim beneath.
  • Alpaca ears are brief and formed like spears.
  • Their fur has shades from white to an virtually jet black shade.
  • Lifespan of about 15-20 years.

Enjoyable Reality: Huacaya fleece lacks lanolin, making it hypoallergenic.


A Llama, see his pointy curved ears
A Llama, see his pointy curved ears.

Llamas are additionally a South American camelid associated to Guanaco. They’re believed to return from North America (round 40 million yrs in the past).

Three million years later, they migrated to South America due to the Nice American Interchange.

In North America, round 10,000 to 12,000 yrs in the past, camelids had been extinct. They’ve been repopulating since 2007 in South America.

Guanacos are bigger than vicuñas however smaller than llamas. They reside in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Patagonia in Argentina, and elements of Paraguay. Guanacos are one of many largest mammals on the continent.

After vicuñas, llama fiber is valuable. It’s tender and heat.

They’ve lengthy, skinny necks, massive our bodies, and a small grey lengthy face with pointy banana-shaped ears. They’re heavy, as much as 400 kilos.

The Similarities

These south American animals from the camel household might look indistinguishable, as llamas and alpacas have a lot in widespread. Some notable ones embrace

  • They’ve the identical origin. Llama and Alpacas name the Andes Mountains area residence, in central and South America.
  • Have quite a lot of fur colours
  • Herbivores (they eat the identical meals of grass and hay)
  • Llamas and alpacas have lanolin-free fleece, not like sheep.

The Variations

Don’t fear should you thought they had been the identical factor! Right here’s an inventory of the distinction between Alpacas and llamas.

1. Facial Form

These options are the simplest approach to distinguish an alpaca from a llama.

Briefly, whereas alpaca faces look squashed, llamas have lengthy snouts.

Alpacas’ faces are brief, have a blunt muzzle and snout, and are fluffy. The alpaca’s face has thick, tender fur, on high of the pinnacle and across the neck.

Llamas have an extended face, like a kangaroo or horse, and outstanding muzzles. Llamas don’t have a lot hair on their heads however a bit on their necks.

2. Ear Form

Llama ears are lengthy, curved, and have ears formed like bananas virtually. These banana-shaped ears stick virtually straight up out from the pinnacle.

Alpaca have brief ears, formed like spears, with some extent on the high.

3. How Tall (Common Physique Sizes)

Full-grown llamas develop to round 1.7-1.8m tall. The alpaca stands at 81-99cm tall on the withers (shoulder space). A llama is rather a lot greater than its cousin!

4. Hair

Llamas have brief, coarse, double-coated hair. The undercoat is softer and extra delicate, generally used for clothes. The tough outer coat (llama fleece) is used for lead ropes, rugs, and wall hangings.

The Huacaya alpaca has thick, tender, crimped fleece. A tender fiber like sheep wool. Suri has silky dreadlock-like hair that grows towards the bottom and is best suited to weaving. It’s a lot finer than an alpaca.

Child alpacas produce tremendous nice hair when their coats are first shorn.

5. Physique Form & Look

Llamas have lengthy, straight backs, higher suited to hold packs. Alpacas have a extra rounded, sloping physique.

6. Function

For five,000 years, individuals bred alpacas and llamas for a similar period of time.

Llamas are transportation and pack animals. (Pack animals carry hundreds throughout lengthy journeys on foot.) They’ve quite a lot of energy and journey far with a heavy load with no need a lot water.

They’re generally used as a supply of meat. Additionally, guards for livestock like sheep and one thing else.

Alpacas are bred for his or her tender fleece or stored as a pet all around the world. They lead a lifetime of leisure in comparison with the llama!

7. Spitting

Alpacas don’t spit usually, however they spit at one another. Llamas spit at one another when displaying they’re extra dominant. Each don’t normally spit at people.

8. Power

Since llamas are used for carrying packs, they maintain hundreds as much as 25 – 30 p.c of their physique weight for 8 – 13 km. They shield themselves and chase away animals corresponding to coyotes and feral canines.

They make wonderful guard animals as they’ve a protecting intuition.

Alpacas, nonetheless, can’t shield themselves. Some farmers use llamas to protect animals and to guard an alpaca herd.

9. Habits

An alpaca is social. They’re herd animals. If separated from its alpaca herd, this herd animal would die from loneliness. They’re additionally timid round individuals.

A llama is impartial and aren’t herd animals. They’re curious, fast to be taught new issues and strategy people with out hesitation.

10. Temperament & Tendencies

The character and disposition of a llama and alpaca are totally different.

The typical alpaca tends to be skittish however mild. They keep near their herd. Some individuals train them to do tips, like a canine, and preserve them as pets.

Llamas have extra impartial, curious, and assured personalities.

Coaching each is straightforward should you elevate them from start, give them correct socalization, and handle them. (Teams want about an acre of land.)

11. Weight & Dimension

  • Llamas – 130-200 kg or 400 kilos.
  • Alpacas – 48-84 kg or 150 kilos.


Llamas – They’ve a nice undercoat and a coarser outer coat. The undercoat is far softer, used for handicrafts and garments.

The outer coat is tough, with a scratchy really feel, and is used for ropes and rugs. Llama fiber is light-weight however heat.

Alpacas – As I discussed above, there are two varieties, the Huacaya and the Suri. The Huacaya Alpaca fiber is crimpy, heat, elastic, and hypoallergic. It’s used for knitting and crochet.

For issues like attire, clothes, scarves, and extra.

Suri Alpaca fiber doesn’t have a crimp and is suited to weaving.

The wool from the primary shearing is the best and is named child alpaca.

Their wool creates the next high quality yarn than llamas. They’re even softer and hotter than cashmere! In case you knit, deal with your self to an alpaca sweater. You’ll marvel what you had been lacking!

Extra Enjoyable Information

  • Alpaca wool is water and flame resistant.
  • Peru, Bolivia, and Chile have the biggest variety of Alpacas.
  • Alpacas have padded ft. They tread flippantly, not damaging pastures.
  • Each don’t have high entrance enamel. They snip the grass, not ripping the entire piece of grass out, together with its roots.
  • A Llama communicates by buzzing.
  • Some communities and house owners use their milk! Alpaca milk has the identical lactose, protein, and fats as cow milk. Llama milk has extra calcium and protein. Nevertheless, each are tougher to take advantage of than cows and goats.
  • Alpacas have wonderful lavatory etiquette. The herd all place their poop in a single spot. It’s simpler for the farmer to gather fertilizer for his or her backyard
  • Vicuna fiber is among the most dear pure fibers ever!
  • Llama poop has no odor.
  • Many individuals have companies the place they’ve handcrafted merchandise from Alpaca and Llama wool. Similar to ponchos, hats, scarves, socks, sweaters, blankets, even toys!


Are Llamas Or Alpacas Friendlier?

It is dependent upon the person animal, however alpacas are friendlier. Llamas are extra aggressive and suspicious of strangers.

Do Alpacas Or Llamas Spit At You?

Typically. Regardless of their candy nature, they’re vulnerable to spitting as a defensive mechanism. They often spit with out provocation.

Why Alpacas Are Higher Than Llamas?

When it comes to temperament and fiber traits, Alpacas are higher than llamas. However every species is exclusive and beneficial in numerous methods.

Are Llamas Extra Aggressive Than Alpacas?

Sure, Llamas have a need to guard and exert their dominance.

How Carefully Associated Are Llamas And Alpacas?

They’re camelids, making them related.

Does Peru Have Llamas Or Alpacas?

Peru has llamas and Alpacas! Each animals are native and have been part of the native customs and historical past for a very long time. Cusco has a big inhabitants.

Do you’re employed with Alpaca wool, or have you ever labored with Llama wool? Have you ever realized something about these animals? I’d love to listen to your ideas.

Pin Now to Save for Later



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments