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Guanacos Camels Llamas Alpacas and Vicuñas: Camelidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Camelids are active during the day. All species will spit or kick when threatened.

Bactrian camels usually live in herds of up to thirty individuals, concentrating in the mountain areas where there are springs and snow. Dromedaries form three types of herds during the mating season. One type is that comprised of bachelor, or single, males. The next is made up of female-offspring couples, and those made up of up to thirty adult females along with their offspring, led by one adult male. Vicuñas maintain family groups of one territorial male and subadults as well as females and offspring less than a year old. The guanaco population lives in three social groups as well including families with one adult male and one or several females with their most recent offspring, male groups whose numbers may reach fifty, and solitary males. Because they are now raised domestically, llamas and alpacas have lost their social structure.

Camelids have numerous mates and do not bond with one another. After twelve to thirteen months of pregnancy, female camels give birth to one newborn, which can walk within a few hours of birth. Young remain with their mothers until the age of two years but they not considered adults until the age of five years. Female llamas and vicuñas also give birth to one offspring after an eleven-month pregnancy. The babies stay with the mother until one year of age.

Pumas and foxes are the primary predators of vicuñas and llamas, while alpacas fall prey to pumas and leopards. Camels have no known predators.

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