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The alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is similar to, and often confused with, the llama – but Alpaca have short spear-shaped ears while llamas have much longer, banana-shaped ears. Alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile. Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas more than 6,000 years ago and raised for their exquisite fleece which was reserved exclusively for the elite and nobility. Alpacas come in two types: Suri and the huacaya. Suri has fibre that grows long and forms silky dreadlocks. Huacaya has a wooly, dense, crimped fleece. Huacayas far outnumber the Suri population - roughly 90%.
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