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Bloggers, It’s been a few days at least since my last post sorry for the delay.
These photos are of the Llama that used to guard our herds of Boer goats in our
pasture in western Texas. I have added several new photos to my Animals and
wildlife gallery, I have also added an entirely new gallery of Photos that I
took at the Hot Air Balloon Festival at White Sands National Monument , right
outside Alamogordo, New mexico. Please
visit my Website by Clicking Here and check out the new photos that I have
added.All of my photography is
Available for sale and also for instant download for Personal or Commercial
enjoy the Llama photos! Click on the photos to view them larger and to see other photos in my gallery.
The llama:(Lama glama) is a domesticated
South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean
cultures since pre-Hispanic times.
The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is
5.5 to 6.0 ft. tall at the top of the head, and can weigh between 280 to 450 lbs.
At birth, a baby llama (called a Cria, from Spanish for "baby") is
also is used for baby alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco. Crias are typically born with
all the females of the herd gathering around, in an attempt to protect against
the male llamas and potential predators. A Cria can weigh between 20 and 30 lbs.
Llamas can live for a period of about 20–30 years depending on how well they
are taken care of.
Llamas are very social animals and live with
other llamas as a herd. The wool produced by a llama is very soft and
lanolin-free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few
repetitions. When using a pack, llamas can carry about 25% to 30% of their body
weight for 5-8 miles.
The name llama (in the past also spelled
'lama' or 'glama') was adopted by European settlers from native Peruvians.
Llamas appear to have originated from the
central plains of North America, then migrated to South America about 3 million
years ago. By the end of the ice age camelids were extinct in North America.
As of 2007, there were over 7 million llamas
and alpacas in South America and, due to importation from South America in the
late 20th century, there are now over 158,000 llamas and 100,000 alpacas in the
United States and Canada.
Behavior:Using llamas as livestock guards in North America began in
the early 1980s, and some Ranchers have used llamas successfully since then to
watch over flocks of sheep and herds of goats. They are used most commonly in
the in western regions of the United States, where larger predators, such as
the coyote, are prevalent. It was once thought that a single gelding (castrated
male) is was the best choice for a guardian, but the knowledge has become
rather widespread that a single unbred females make better and safer guardians
because they are more alert and do not pose as big of a threat to smothering
Research suggests the use of multiple guard
llamas is not as effective as one. Multiple males tend to bond with one
another, rather than with the livestock, and may ignore the flock. A gelded
male of two years of age bonds closely with its new charges and is
instinctively very effective in preventing predation. Some llamas appear to
bond more quickly to sheep or goats if they are introduced just prior to
lambing. Many sheep and goat producers indicate a special bond quickly develops
between lambs and their guard llama and the llama is particularly protective of
Using llamas as guards has eliminated the
losses to predators for many producers. The value of the livestock saved each
year more than exceeds the purchase cost and annual maintenance of a llama.
Although not every llama is suited to the job, most are a viable, nonlethal
alternative for reducing predation, requiring no training and little care.
may defend against predators in many ways. Llamas are instinctively alert and
aware of their surroundings, and may draw attention to an intruder by making a
startling alarm call. They may walk or run toward an intruder, and chase, paw
at, or kick it. Some llamas may herd the animals they are
into a tight group or lead them away from danger and to the spot where they may
feel the safest. Others may stand apart from the group and watch the intruder.
Although llamas have been known to kill predators (such as coyotes), they
should not be considered attack animals. They are generally effective against
single intruders only, not packs. In the US, guard llamas have been most common
in ranches located in western regions, where larger predators, such as the
coyote, have been more prevalent. Not every llama will guard however and it
should not be assumed that because it is a llama it will guard.
the Llama in culture:
people frequently placed llamas and llama parts in the burials of important
people, as offerings or provisions for what they believed was the afterlife. The
Moche culture of pre-Columbian Peru depicted llamas quite realistically in
In the Inca empire, llamas were the only
beasts of burden, and many of the peoples dominated by the Inca had long
traditions of llama herding. For the Inca nobility, the llama was of symbolic
significance, and llama figures were often buried with the dead. In South
America, llamas are still used as beasts of burden, as well as for the
production of fiber and meat. The Inca deity Urcuchillay was depicted in the
form of a multicolored llama. Agriculture was also boosted by using Llama dung
One of the main uses for llamas at
the time of the Spanish conquest was to bring down ore from the mines in the
mountains. Gregory de Bolivar estimated that in his day, as many as 300
thousand were employed in the transport of produce from the Potosí mines alone,
but since the introduction of horses, mules, and donkeys, the importance of the
llama as a beast of burden has greatly diminished.
Juan Ignacio Molina, the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of
chilihueques (possibly a llama type) by native Mapuches of Mocha Island as plow
animals in 1614.
Fiber : Llamas have a fine undercoat which can be used for
handicrafts and garments. The coarser outer guard hair is used for rugs,
wall-hangings and lead ropes. The fiber comes in many different colors ranging
from white or grey to reddish-brown, brown, dark brown and black.The fiber of their coat is one of the finest
natural fibers with a Diameter of 20-30 micrometres.
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