Machu PIcchu - Mother and Newborn Llama
Llamas migrated to South America about 3 million years ago although their origin has been traced from the central plains of North America 40 million years before that. As of 2007, there are over 7 million llamas and alpacas in South America. Andean culture has used llamas as a meat and pack animal. They also played an important role in the Incan culture where economy elevated them to a highly regarded status. Llamas can live to about 20Ð30 years and are intelligent animals that can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. A full-grown, full-size llama can reach the height of 5.5 to 6.0 ft. tall, and can weigh between 280 to 450 lbs. At birth, a baby llama, called a cria, can weigh between 20 and 30 lbs.