Alpacas and llamas nowadays
Confuse the rural scene:
They stretch their necks and cast their wool
On Hatley’s fields of green.
But how distinguish each from each?
Let’s seek the website screen.
Emus and ostriches likewise
Displace the farmyard chicks –
Diversity belongs to towns?
No, we too have a mix
Of alien creatures fenced and penned.
Their pictures please affix!
Ishbel Beatty, August 2018
Alpacas, llamas, emus and ostriches
Alpacas and llamas are cousins:
- Alpacas are smaller than llamas – 0.9 m (3 ft) to the shoulder / 68 kg (150 lbs) vs 1.1 m (3 ft 6 in) tall / 180 kg (400 lbs) for the llama.
- Alpacas have short spear-shaped ears – llamas have long, banana-shaped ears.
- Alpacas have a soft, luxurious fleece – llamas have a coarse, hairy fleece.
- Alpacas are very intelligent and can learn tricks – llamas can be very arrogant.
- Alpacas are gentle and timid – llamas are brave and may attack you.
- Alpacas are all wool and couldn’t carry a small child – llamas are known as the ‘Ship of the Andes’: they can carry heavy weights for long distances.
Emus and ostriches are also cousins:
- Emus are the second largest birds in the world and native to Australia – the ostrich is largest bird in the world by height and native to Africa.
- Emus are shorter and lighter than ostriches, growing to 1.6 m (5 ft) tall / 60 kg (132 lbs) – ostriches grow to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall / 160 kg (352 lbs).
- Emus (male and female) have deep brown feathers – ostrich males have black and white feathers and females have brown feathers.
- Emus have three toes – ostriches only two.
- Emus can run at up to 30 mph – ostriches up to 40 mph.
- Emus are farmed for their oil, meat and leather – ostriches for their feathers, meat and leather.
- Emus pair for mating but the incubation and raising the chicks is done by the males alone – ostriches form groups with each male having six to seven females and the incubation is done by them in turns.
Page created 16th August 2018.