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The Camélidos are native animals of the Andes, offspring of the camels. They were the only animals available for transportation in the pre-Hispanic Andean cultures. There are 4 zoological species, two of which are domestic and the others are wild. Each of the species can cross, but the second generation will return to the dominant species.Its meat is of a special taste and of low cholesterol; normally it is prepared with herbs of the region.
The biggest of the four is the Lama, domestic animal that was used as pack animal. Its wool is the thickest and each of the animals gives 4kg every shearing (every two years). The Lama is to find in the pre-cordilleran regions and the highland of the Atacama usually close to accumulations of water or wetlands.
A little bit smaller than the Lama, the Alpaca has a thicker layer of wool that almost covers the eyes. Its wool is of different colors and every shearing one animal gives 5 kg of wool, which is of fine and silky texture. That is why it is the most used wool for high quality fabric.
The Alpaca lives in the Andean and Aymara sectors, especially in the north of San Pedro de Atacama and in the Bolivian highlands.
The Guanaco is of light brown color and only has few wool. It is a little bit bigger than the Vicuña. In general, they live at a height of 3.000m over sea level and it is very difficult to domesticate them. They are to find in the cordillera of Domeyko.
The smallest of the four South American species, the Vicuña, lives in groups that are like families. They prefer living in the highland, at a height of 4.000m over sea level. It is a protected animal, for the high demand of its leather, its wool (the finest animal fiber) and its meat (0% cholesterol) almost got it extinct.