Like many people, are you also confused between an alpaca and a llama? They look so similar that it is hard to think of the differences when both of them are not in the same picture. But then again, looks can be deceiving, and it will be better to know the differences between the two. So, here are the main differences between an alpaca and a llama that you always fail to remember:
Probably the biggest difference between an alpaca and a llama is the wool on their body. Llamas do not have any wool on their body. They have hair like most animals, and those hairs are not of any use. Alpacas, on the other hand, have high-quality wool that is used to make various garments. In fact, wool from alpacas is one of the most expensive and finest in the world. You will find almost 22 different colors alpaca wool that is used to make sweaters, scarves, and a variety of other garments.
Another noticeable difference between an alpaca and a llama is their size. An alpaca is much smaller in size. Both the height and weight of an alpaca is lesser than that of a llama. Typically, alpacas weigh around 150 pounds and have a height of somewhere around 90 cm. Llamas are larger than alpacas and their height can be about 200 cm, if not more. If you place a llama and an alpaca side by side, you will be able to understand the huge difference in their size. The weight of a llama is also more than that of an alpaca. They weight around 400 pounds and are almost double the weight of an alpaca.
Face and ears
These are the two areas that get people confused because they are quite similar. However, there are a few differences if you see them carefully. The face of an alpaca is quite blunt. On the other hand, llamas have a rather long face. Since alpacas have a wooly covering, their face looks very funny. It is as if the wool has covered their face and they only have their eyes and nose to show from the bundle of wool around. Llamas have a long and straight face, much like a horse or a donkey.
There are differences in the ears of an alpaca and a llama too. The ears of an alpaca are short and look like a pear. Again, with all the wool around, it is hard to figure out the exact shape of the ear. Llamas have longer ears that look more like a banana rather than a pear. Since they do not have any wool around, you will be able to spot the difference in the ears quite clearly.
The way in which these two animals move around also show how different they are even though their looks can be somewhat similar. Llamas tend to move around on their own because they are more independent-minded. Alpacas are entirely different in this regard. You will often find alpacas moving in herds. They do not roam around on their own and that is why they are considered to be similar to a herd of sheep. Also, alpacas are not that brave while llamas have the ability to protect themselves. That is why they are often used to protect a herd of alpacas on a farm along with a herd of sheep and several other small livestock.
The alpaca and the llama have completely different uses to mankind. Alpacas have been used for centuries for their rich wool. In fact, they are bred for their fibers that are used to make winter garments. Llamas are not used for the same purpose. They are bred to ensure protection for the herd of livestock on a farm and also for their meat. The meat of a llama is very tasty, and you will get the opportunity to eat it if you visit any hill station.
With so many differences, you will now be able to differentiate between an alpaca and a llama the next time you visit the zoo. You can also teach your kids about how the alpaca and the llama are different from each other even though they look quite similar.