DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIES
It is a domestic cloven-hoofed animal, which resembles small llama and has soft and long fleece (its length on sides reaches 15-20cm). The body length is 70-80cm, the height at the shoulder is 94-104cm, and the weight is 55-70kg. The colouration of these animals has more than 24 natural colours. Alpacas live in small groups led by the alpha male. They breed once per year, and feed offspring with the milk for 6-12 months. Initially, alpacas were assumed to be descended from the llama, however, in 2001 the species taxonomy was changed from Lama pacos to Vicugna pacos, when it was found out that the vicuña was ancestor of alpacas, not the guanaco (the ancestor of all domestic llamas).
The herbivorous alpacas eat various vegetable foods. There is no special preferences, there for they are usually fed by grass, young sprouts of bushes, tree leaves and many other plants.
In nature (alpacas, which became wild again) live for 15-20 years. The lifespan in farms are determined by the farmers. In zoos they live up to 25 years.