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Guanacos Camels Llamas Alpacas and Vicuñas: Camelidae

Physical Characteristics

The average height of camels is 6 to 7.5 feet (1.8 to 2.3 meters), and vicuñas, guanacos, llamas, and alpacas are 3 to 4.3 feet (.90 to 1.3 meters) tall. Camels weigh between 1,000 and 1,800 pounds (454 to 816 kilograms); vicuñas, guanacos, llamas, and alpacas weigh between 88.8 and 265.5 pounds (40 to 120 kilograms).

Camelidae have long, thin necks, small heads, and slender snouts. Their tough mouths allow them to eat thick grasses and thorny plants without pain. Camels have kneepads which protect them as they fold their legs beneath their bodies to rest.

Each foot has two flat toes. Their thick coats protect them from cold temperatures, and only the camel sheds its hair as temperatures rise. Camels also have special muscles that allow them to close their nostrils and lips for long periods of time so that they do not breathe in large amounts of sand or snow.

Camels also have humps that store fat as a source of energy when food reserves are low. The better they eat, the fatter the hump or humps grow.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsGuanacos Camels Llamas Alpacas and Vicuñas: Camelidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Camelids And People, Conservation Status, Dromedary Camel (camelus Dromedarius): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT