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South America’s Camelids of Yore

Domesticated llama and alpaca species are raised commercially

Domesticated llama and alpaca species are raised commercially

To make a very long story short, forty-five million years ago during the Pliocene Epoch, the history of camelids began. Forty-two million years later, some of the camelids inhabiting North America headed north through the Bering Strait into Africa and Asia. These animals evolved into the dromedary and Bactrian camels we know today. Others headed south into Central America and on into South America, eventually branching into four species, the guanaco, llama, alpaca and vicuna, though their exact evolution has not yet been unraveled due to an incomplete fossil record.

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Camelids of Yore

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