Camelids | Camelidae

Camelids are a biological family of herbivorous even-toed ungulates characterized by their large bodies, slender necks and long legs. Found in remote locations from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Central Asia, and the Andes region in South America, camelids have evolved as separate distinct species adapted to their harsh individual contexts. The smaller South American camelids, which includes the Llama, Guanaco, Alpaca, and Vicuña, are characterized by their desirable thick wool coats and toes for gripping rock terrain. In the Afro-Asian contexts, camelids such as the Bactrian camel and the Dromedary camel have developed to survive their almost waterless habitats.

What is the fiber that camelids produce?

The fiber that camelids produce is actually their hair and each type of fiber has its own characteristics. The camelids family includes alpacas, llamas, vicunas, and guanacos. The vicuna fiber is sought for its softness and fineness, while the alpaca fiber is desired for its quality and quantity. Camelid fiber was used mostly in South American, specifically Andean textiles.

Why are camelids not true ruminants?

Camelids are not true ruminants because although they both have multiple compartments in their stomachs, ruminants have four compartments in their stomachs while camelids have three. The four compartments of a ruminant’s stomach are called the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The three compartments of a camelid’s stomach are called C-1, C-2, and C-3. Ruminant animals include cattle, sheep, buffalo, deer, and goats.

Why do camelids spit?

Camelids spit for a variety of reasons and can spit up to 10 feet away. A female camelid may spit at an interested male to let him know she is not interested, while both female and males may spit to keep others away from their food. Spitting is also used to warn possible aggressors. Some camelids may spit with little provocation.

* Under Development *

Related Collections
Camelids Guides
Browse through our curated Camelids Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Camelids. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Alpaca
137000
39.0"-46.0" | 99-117 cm
48.0"-84.0" | 122-213 cm
45-68 lb | 100-175 kg
15-25 years
Alpaca
117.000
213.000
175.000
15.00
137000
3D
Alpaca
84" (7’) | 2.13 m
89"-138" (7’5”-11’6”) | 225-350 cm
990-1100 lb | 450-500 kg
20-40 years; 50 (wild)
Bactrian Camel
213.000
350.000
500.000
20.00
12000
3D
Bactrian Camel
84" (7’) | 2.13 m
86"-134" (7’2”-11’2”) | 219-341 cm
880-1320 lb | 400-600 kg
40-50 years
Dromedary Camel
213.000
341.000
600.000
40.00
3400
3D
Dromedary Camel
Guanaco
15000
57"-61" | 145-155 cm
82"-86" | 210-220 cm
200-310 lb | 90-140 kg
20-25 years
Guanaco
155.000
220.000
140.000
20.00
15000
3D
Guanaco
Llama
154000
67"-71" (5’7”-5’11”) | 1.7-1.8 m
72"-78" (6’-6’6”) | 1.8-2.0 m
290-440 lb | 130-200 kg
15-25 years
Llama
180.000
200.000
200.000
15.00
154000
3D
Llama
Vicuña
18000
49"-52" | 124-132 cm
60"-72" | 152-183 cm
77-144 lb | 35-65 kg
20-24 years
Vicuña
132.000
183.000
65.000
20.00
18000
3D
Vicuña
Llama
Comparison drawing of a llama to the size of a human (Napoleon Dynamite) with dimensions for height and length

Llamas are domesticated herbivorous members of the camel family (camelids) characterized by their coats of thick wool and their upright posture. An iconic traditional South American animal, llamas have long been kept as useful beasts of burden that serve human needs for transportation of goods as well as for the production of wool and meat. Llamas live collectively with others in herds and are often used as guardians for other livestock because of their keen awareness and intelligence. Often confused with the alpaca, llamas are noticeably larger than alpacas and produce less wool.

The average Llama has an overall height of 67"-71" (5’7”-5’11”) (1.7-1.8 m), withers (shoulder) height of 48"-53" (4’-4’5”) (1.2-1.3 m), and body length of 72"-78" (6’-6’6”) (1.8-2.0 m). A typical Llama weighs between 290-440 lb (130-200 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 15-25 years.

Multiple illustrations of a llama as viewed from the side profile, front, and laying down positions
Llamas are domesticated members of the camel family characterized by their coats of thick wool and their upright posture. An iconic traditional South American animal, llamas have long been kept as useful beasts of burden that serve human needs for transportation of goods as well as wool and meat.

The average Llama has an overall height of 67"-71" (5’7”-5’11”) (1.7-1.8 m), withers (shoulder) height of 48"-53" (4’-4’5”) (1.2-1.3 m), and body length of 72"-78" (6’-6’6”) (1.8-2.0 m). A typical Llama weighs between 290-440 lb (130-200 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 15-25 years.

Multiple illustrations of a llama as viewed from the side profile, front, and laying down positions
Llama
Height:
67"-71" (5’7”-5’11”) | 1.7-1.8 m
Width:
Length:
72"-78" (6’-6’6”) | 1.8-2.0 m
Depth:
Withers Height (Shoulder)
48"-53" (4’-4’5”) | 1.2-1.3 m
Weight:
290-440 lb | 130-200 kg
Area:

Uses: Wool, pack (transport), meat (Peru), guards

Scientific Name
Lama glama
Lifespan
15-25 years

Drawings include:
Llamas side elevation (standing), side (Napoleon Dynamite), front, side (laying down)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

Right Click and 'Save As' to Download

3D Downloads

Guanaco
Size comparison illustration of a Guanaco compared to a typical woman with labeled standard measurements

The Guanaco, like the Vicuña, is a wild camelid that lives in the high elevations of the Andes. The Guanaco is the wild parent to the Llama, a the result of domesticating the Guanaco for use as pack animal, and the Alpaca, who is the result of domesticating the Guanaco for its coat. The Guanaco is an extremely speedy runner, capable of reaching speeds upwards of 40 miles per hour, and a talented swimmer. The Guanaco is a herd animal and has developed different ways of communicating which include, ear movements, vocalizations, spitting, and marking territory with dung.

The average Guanaco has an overall height of 57"-61" (145-155 cm), withers height of 39"-43" (100-110 cm), and body length of 82"-86" (210-220 cm). A typical Guanaco weighs between 200-310 lb (90-140 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-25 years.

Set of elevation drawings of Guanaco in multiple poses from waking to standing upright
The Guanaco, like the Vicuña, is a wild camelid that lives in the high elevations of the Andes. The Guanaco is the wild parent to the Llama, who is the result of domesticating the Guanaco for use as pack animal, and the Alpaca, who is the result of domesticating the Guanaco for its coat.

The average Guanaco has an overall height of 57"-61" (145-155 cm), withers height of 39"-43" (100-110 cm), and body length of 82"-86" (210-220 cm). A typical Guanaco weighs between 200-310 lb (90-140 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-25 years.

Set of elevation drawings of Guanaco in multiple poses from waking to standing upright
Guanaco
Height:
57"-61" | 145-155 cm
Width:
Length:
82"-86" | 210-220 cm
Depth:
Withers Height (Shoulder)
39"-43" | 100-110 cm
Weight:
200-310 lb | 90-140 kg
Area:

Uses: Wool

Scientific Name
Lama guanicoe
Lifespan
20-25 years

Drawings include:
Guanaco side elevation (standing), side (person), front, back, walking

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

Right Click and 'Save As' to Download

3D Downloads

Bactrian Camel
Dimensioned drawing of a Bactrian Camel standing next to a man for scale with measurements for heights and width

The Bactrian Camel is a two-humped camelid residing in the Central and Eastern Asian Desert and is closely related, but wholly distinct from, the Wild Bactrian Camel, Camelus ferus. With its tolerance for both hot and cold temperatures, adaptation for high altitudes, and endurance for many miles, the Bactrian Camel enabled trade along the Silk Road from 130 B.C. to 1453 A.D. as a versatile pack animal. While mostly domesticated, a small feral population still exists in southwest Kazakhstan and India. Similar to the Dromedary Camel, the Bactrian Camel rarely sweats, can close its nostrils to sand, and has two rows of eyelashes to protect his eyes.

The average Bactrian Camel has an overall height of 84" (7’) (2.13 m), withers height of 62"-71" (5’2”-5’11”) (157-180 cm), and body length of 89"-138" (7’5”-11’6”) (225-350 cm). A typical Bactrian Camel weighs between 990-1100 lb (450-500 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-40 years; 50 (wild).

Illustrations of Bactrian Camels in various postures including walking, standing, and lying down
The Bactrian Camel is a two-humped camelid residing in Central and Eastern Asian Desert and is closely related to the Wild Bactrian Camel. Similar to the Dromedary Camel, the Bactrian Camel rarely sweats, can close its nostrils to sand, and has two rows of eyelashes to protect his eyes.

The average Bactrian Camel has an overall height of 84" (7’) (2.13 m), withers height of 62"-71" (5’2”-5’11”) (157-180 cm), and body length of 89"-138" (7’5”-11’6”) (225-350 cm). A typical Bactrian Camel weighs between 990-1100 lb (450-500 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-40 years; 50 (wild).

Illustrations of Bactrian Camels in various postures including walking, standing, and lying down
Bactrian Camel
Height:
84" (7’) | 2.13 m
Width:
Length:
89"-138" (7’5”-11’6”) | 225-350 cm
Depth:
Withers Height (Shoulder)
62"-71" (5’2”-5’11”) | 157-180 cm
Weight:
990-1100 lb | 450-500 kg
Area:

Uses: Pack animal

Scientific Name
Camelus bactrianus
Lifespan
20-40 years; 50 (wild)

Drawings include:
Bactrian Camel side elevation (standing), side (person), front, walking, lying down

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

Right Click and 'Save As' to Download

3D Downloads

Vicuña
Size comparison drawing of a Vicuña to the height of a woman with dimensions labeled for heights and body length

The Vicuña is one of the two wild South American camelids that live in the high alpine areas of the Andes, with the other species being the Guanaco. The Vicuña is highly prized for its fine coat, which can only be shone every three years. The fine fibers of their coat have been desired since Incan times, when garments made from Vicuña wool were reserved for royalty only. The Vicuña is the national animal of Peru and is protected by conservationists after a brief stint on the endangered animals list in 1974. Despite being previously considered distinct from the Alpaca and the Llama, recent DNA research has revealed potential wild Vicuña parentage in domesticated Alpaca.

The average Vicuña has an overall height of 49"-52" (124-132 cm), withers height of 34"-36" (86-90 cm), and body length of 60"-72" (152-183 cm). A typical Vicuña weighs between 77-144 lb (35-65 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-24 years.

Collection of front and side elevation illustrations of Vicuña in various postures from eating to standing upright
The Vicuña is one of the two wild South American camelids that live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. The Vicuña is highly prized for its fine coat, which can only be shone every three years and is the national animal of Peru.

The average Vicuña has an overall height of 49"-52" (124-132 cm), withers height of 34"-36" (86-90 cm), and body length of 60"-72" (152-183 cm). A typical Vicuña weighs between 77-144 lb (35-65 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 20-24 years.

Collection of front and side elevation illustrations of Vicuña in various postures from eating to standing upright
Vicuña
Height:
49"-52" | 124-132 cm
Width:
Length:
60"-72" | 152-183 cm
Depth:
Withers Height (Shoulder)
34"-36" | 86-90 cm
Weight:
77-144 lb | 35-65 kg
Area:

Uses: Wool

Scientific Name
Vicugna vicugna
Lifespan
20-24 years

Drawings include:
Vicuña side elevation (standing), side (person), front, eating, back

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

Right Click and 'Save As' to Download

3D Downloads

Dromedary Camel
Side elevation drawing of a Dromedary Camel compared to the height of a person with dimensions for heights and body length

The Dromedary Camel, also known as the Arabian Camel, is a one-humped camelid that resides primarily in Northern Africa, with a small feral population in Australia. The Dromedary Camel has not occurred in the wild for about 2,000 years after being domesticated about 4,000 in Arabian Peninsula. The Dromedary Camel is the tallest of all the camel species with a hump that can store up to 80 pounds of fat that can be converted to water in time of need. Due to its ability to store plenty of water reserves, the Dromedary Camel can cover distances of 100 miles in the desert and go several weeks without access to water.

The average Dromedary Camel has an overall height of 84" (7’) (2.13 m), withers height of 71"-78" (5’11”-6’6”) (180-198 cm), and body length of 86"-134" (7’2”-11’2”) (219-341 cm). A typical Dromedary Camel weighs between 880-1320 lb (400-600 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 40-50 years.

Pair of illustrations of a Dromedary Camel viewed walking from the side and standing from behind
The Dromedary Camel is a one-humped camelid that resides in primarily in Northern Africa, with a small feral population in Australia. The Dromedary Camel is the tallest of all the camel species with a hump that can store up to 80 pounds of fat that can be converted to water in time of need.

The average Dromedary Camel has an overall height of 84" (7’) (2.13 m), withers height of 71"-78" (5’11”-6’6”) (180-198 cm), and body length of 86"-134" (7’2”-11’2”) (219-341 cm). A typical Dromedary Camel weighs between 880-1320 lb (400-600 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 40-50 years.

Pair of illustrations of a Dromedary Camel viewed walking from the side and standing from behind
Dromedary Camel
Height:
84" (7’) | 2.13 m
Width:
Length:
86"-134" (7’2”-11’2”) | 219-341 cm
Depth:
Withers Height (Shoulder)
71"-78" (5’11”-6’6”) | 180-198 cm
Weight:
880-1320 lb | 400-600 kg
Area:

Uses: Pack animal

Scientific Name
Camelus dromedarius
Lifespan
40-50 years

Drawings include:
Dromedary Cameld side elevation (standing), side (person), front, back, walking, lying down

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

Right Click and 'Save As' to Download

3D Downloads

Related Animals Collections
Animals