, , ,

Did you know:

The llama is sturdy and sure-footed, making it the ideal beast to carry heavy loads along the narrow mountain trails of South America.

The fine undercoat of wool on llamas is used to make clothing and handcrafts, and the more coarse outer wool is often made into rugs.

161005 llamas (3)

Llamas mate lying down – it’s called a kush position (sounds cushy to me!) – which is rather unusual for such a big animal and, also unusual for their size, their mating is no quick fling. Instead, they’re at it for between 20 and 45 minutes, plus the sexually aroused male makes a gargling sound – called an orgle – before and during the mating process.

Female llamas have very short tongues, preventing them from licking their newly born babies (called crias) so, instead of bonding with their offspring through the licking process, the mummy llamas nuzzle their babies and hum to them.

Llamas are family animals, sharing a strong familial bond and looking out for each other. When threatened, a llama will emit a warning bray to alert the rest of the herd, and llamas often hum to each other as a way of communicating. As well as these sounds, they also make groaning noises or produce a ‘mwa’ noise when they’re afraid or angry. Strange then that humans use ‘mwa’ as an expression for sending someone a kiss.


a large herd of llamas on the hills behind La Paz, in Bolivia