Friday, December 18, 2009

Today we drove up to Sheep Street to buy some chenille for weaving. In addition to their bazillion sheep, Sheep Street now has 2 alpaca! They are so cute! Like Dr. Seuss llamas, only fluffier. Of course I just want to hug their fluffy necks, but this pair is not so into people, so I just took a few photos from the fence. Notice the toes on the white one - those toe nails look like they could do some damage, but it's hard to imaging anything this cute hurting anything.

I started thinking about baby alpaca and how large they must be (or small they must be) at birth. Then I wondered what a baby alpaca is called. We decided to call them Alpaca Puppy because it's fun to say (go ahead, say it out loud. You know you want to). According to the Google, a baby alpaca is actually called a cria.

Gestation for an alpaca is almost a year (11.5 months give or take 2 weeks), and alpaca generally give birth to only one cria. Wikipedia gives all sorts of interesting information about the sex life of alpaca - I'll skip most of the details.

I did wonder what sound an alpaca makes. They draw in their breath sharply to warn of predators, and the male orgles (or sings) to get the ladies "in the mood". What lady isn't a sucker for a good crooner?

The ladies are so very human-like. They go to the "ladies room" together. While males generally use a communal dung pile, the ladies like to stand in a line and go in unison. Can't you just imagine all the alpaca gossip that must take place at those times?

Much to this vegetarian's delight, alpaca have been deemed a protected species, and the trade of their meat is no longer legal. How can anyone eat something this cute that provides such delightful fluffy fiber? Who wouldn't rather have a sweater than an alpaca burger?

So....I don't know much about these delightful creatures, but every time I see them I just feel delight at their quirky look and soulful demeanor.


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