llama

/lah"meuh/, n.
1. a woolly-haired South American ruminant of the genus Lama, believed to be a domesticated variety of the guanaco: often used as a beast of burden.
2. the fine, soft fleece of the llama, combined with the wool for coating.
[1590-1600; < Sp < Quechua llama (with palatal l)]

* * *

Domesticated South American lamoid (see alpaca), maintained in herds in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina.

The llama (Lama glama) is used primarily as a pack animal but also as a source of food, wool, hides, tallow for candles, and dried dung for fuel. A 250-lb (113-kg) llama can carry a load of 100–130 lb (45–60 kg) and travel 15–20 mi (25–30 km) a day. It can subsist on little water and a wide variety of plant materials. Though usually white, it may be solid black or brown, or white with black or brown markings. It is usually gentle, but when overloaded or mistreated it will lie down, hiss, spit and kick, and refuse to move. Not known to exist in the wild state, it appears to have been bred from guanacos during or before the Inca civilization.

* * *

mammal
 (Lama glama), South American member of the camel family, Camelidae (order Artiodactyla), closely related to the alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña, which are known collectively as lamoids. Unlike camels, lamoids do not have the characteristic camel humps; they are slender-bodied animals and have long legs and necks, short tails, small heads, and large, pointed ears. Gregarious animals, they graze on grass and other plants. When annoyed, they spit. Lamoids are able to interbreed and to produce fertile offspring.

      Most herds of llamas are maintained by the Indians of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. The llama is primarily a pack animal but is also used as a source of food, wool, hides, tallow for candles, and dried dung for fuel. The largest of the lamoids, it averages 120 cm (47 inches) at the shoulder. A 113-kilogram (250-pound) llama can carry a load of 45–60 kg and average 25 to 30 km (15 to 20 miles) travel a day. The llama's high thirst tolerance, endurance, and ability to subsist on a wide variety of forage makes it an important transport animal on the bleak Andean plateaus and mountains. The llama is a gentle animal, but, when overloaded or maltreated, it will lie down, hiss, spit and kick, and refuse to move. Llamas breed in the (Southern Hemispheric) late summer and fall, from November to May. The gestation period lasts about 11 months, and the female gives birth to one young. Although usually white, the llama may be solid black or brown, or it may be white with black or brown markings.

      The llama and the alpaca (L. pacos) are domestic animals not known to exist in the wild state. They appear to have been bred from guanacos during or before the Inca Indian civilization to be used as beasts of burden.

      Depending on the authority, the llama, alpaca, and guanaco may be classified as distinct species or as races of Lama glama. Because of certain structural features, the vicuña is sometimes classified into a separate genus from the other lamoids and is known as Vicugna vicugna.

      Llamas are normally sheared every two years, each yielding about 3–3.5 kg of fibre. Llama fleece consists of the coarse guard hairs of the protective outer coat (about 20 percent) and the short, crimped (wavy) fibre of the insulating undercoat. The coarse fleece is inferior to the wool of the alpaca. The hair's colour is usually variegated, generally in shades of brown, although there are some pure blacks and whites. Cleaning reduces the final yield of fleece to about 66–84 percent of the original weight. Individual locks of hair appear wavy; the fairly downy fibres have about two to four crimps per centimetre, but the coarse hairs are fairly straight. The hair's length ranges from 8 to 25 cm, the coarse hairs being longest. The difference in diameter between the guard hairs and the downy fibre is not so great as it is in cashmere. Diameter ranges from about 10 to 150 micrometres (a micrometre is about 0.00004 inch) with undercoat fibre usually from 10 to 20 micrometres.

      The scales of the outer layer of the fibre are indistinct, and the cortical layer contains pigment, with variations in the amount and distribution, which produces the various colours and tones. All but the finest fibres are likely to possess a hollow central core, or medulla, resulting in low density, which makes the fibre fairly light in weight.

      Llama fibre is used, alone or in blends, for knitwear and for woven fabrics made into outerwear. It is used locally for rugs, rope, and fabric.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • LLama — Gabilondo y Cia SA LLAMA est une compagnie espagnole basque dans le domaine de l armement, qui a été fondée en 1904 sous le nom Gabilondo et Urresti. Son siège se trouve à Guernica. Llama III A 9court Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LLAMA M-82 — Llama M 82 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Llama M-82 — Présentation Pays  Es …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LLAMA M-87 — Le Llama M 87 est un pistolet semi automatique à double action. Fabriqué par la firme espagnole Llama Gabilondo y Cia SA depuis 1987, conçu pour les compétition sportives de tir, très grande précision, c est une amélioration sportive du Llama M… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LLAMA I — Pistolet avec dragonne, ayant très problamement servi dans une unité de police. Le Llama I est un pistolet compact semi automatique à simple action. Fabriqué par la firme espagnole Llama Gabilondo y Cia SA, il fonctionne selon le système culasse… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LLAMA II — Le Llama II est un pistolet semi automatique à simple action qui ressemble au LLAMA I mais d un calibre différent. Fabriqué par la firme espagnole Llama Gabilondo y Cia SA, il fonctionne selon le système culasse non calée. Pistolet de calibre 380 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • llama — sustantivo femenino 1. Masa gaseosa en combustión que se eleva en forma de lengua de los cuerpos que arden y desprende luz y calor: la llama de una vela, las rojas llamas de los troncos de la chimenea. La llama del gas es azulada. 2. Fuerza e… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • LLAMA X-A — Le Llama modèle X A est un pistolet semi automatique à simple action. Fabriqué par la firme espagnole Llama Gabilondo y Cia SA depuis 1954, il fonctionne selon le principe de culasse non calée. C est un grand succès commercial de la firme.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Llama M-87 — Le Llama M 87 est un pistolet semi automatique à double action. Fabriqué par la firme espagnole Llama Gabilondo y Cia SA depuis 1987, conçu pour les compétition sportives de tir, très grande précision, c est une amélioration sportive du Llama M… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Llama — Lla ma, n. [Peruv.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A South American ruminant ({Auchenia llama}), allied to the camels, but much smaller and without a hump. It is supposed to be a domesticated variety of the guanaco. It was formerly much used as a beast of burden… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • llama — woolly haired S.American ruminant, c.1600, from Sp. llama (1535), from Quechua (Peru) llama …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.