ANSC 160 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Alpaca, Plantigrade, Hemoglobin

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8 Feb 2017
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Lecture 8
Alternative Livestock
Exotic or foreign/origin animal
Initially, breeding animals are extremely expensive ($10,000-50,000)
o Often approached as get rich quick scheme
No sustainable market exists
Pries for aial’s pluet
Animals picked up as strays
Camelids
Old world camelids
o Dromedary camel (1 hump)
o Bactrian camel (2 humps)
South American Camelids (SAC)
o Llama
o Alpaca
o Vicuna
o Guanaco
Biology of SACSs
Prehension upper lip (labial cleft)
Plantigrade pastern
Soft pad on the sole
3 chambered stomachs
o similar in function to ruminant forestomach
oval shaped red blood cells
o shape of cells and biologically unique hemoglobin allow efficient oxygen carrying
In high altitude and low oxygen environment
SACs in South America
species have been domesticated for 6000 years
many traditional uses
o pack animals
o fiber
o meat
o sacrificial animal
SACs in the U.S.
prior to mid 1980s primarily in zoos
popularity and numbers of llamas and alpacas in US has risen steadily over last 20 years
primarily used as a companion animal and for commercial breeding
secondary uses include packaging, fiber, guard animals for sheep flocks
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