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   Undertoad  Friday Jul 11 01:58 PM

7/11/2003: Vicunas



These are vicunas, in a corral in Peru.

Turns out they are raised by Peruvians for their wool. For years they were endangered, as vicuna wool became trendy for a while. It's used to create the most expensive fabric in the world: super light, super warm, and super expensive. The wool is finer than cashmere. Poachers relentlessly bagged the animals for ages, then the Peruvian government stepped in and said no more of this and set up a program to save them. For a while the fabric was banned outright; now the animals are thriving as livestock and the fabric is back on the market.

Why do they produce the finest wool? Because they adapted to the high elevations of the Andes, so they needed a really warm coat.



linknoid  Friday Jul 11 03:28 PM

But what do they look like? All you can see are their heads, not their bodies. Their heads do look unlike any animal I've seen before, but I wish we could at least see one in full.



bmgb  Friday Jul 11 03:56 PM

Image stolen from http://orbita.starmedia.com/~animali...lia/vicuna.htm



Undertoad  Friday Jul 11 04:16 PM

I actually had this one before and forgot to post it!




xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jul 11 05:44 PM

I would imagine that farming them instead of poaching means shearing yearly instead of shooting ad shearing once.



Elspode  Friday Jul 11 09:56 PM

They're sort of like skinny llamas.



Odd_Bloke  Saturday Jul 12 10:51 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
They're sort of like skinny llamas.
That's exactly what I was thinking. :p


bjlhct  Saturday Jul 12 02:46 PM

I want one!



blase  Sunday Jul 13 12:08 AM

See my vest, see my vest!
made of real gorilla chest!



Slithy_Tove  Sunday Jul 13 12:25 AM

Their heads do look unlike any animal I've seen before [...]

They look like camels' heads to me, which isn't surprising, because vicunas, alpacas, llamas, and camels are all related.

No, wait, llamas are different, they're more related to aimbot users and wall hackers. Oh, I'm so confused.



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jul 13 03:14 AM

Quote:
No, wait, llamas are different, they're more related to aimbot users and wall hackers. Oh, I'm so confused.
You may be the next J.K. Rowling.


modernhamlet  Sunday Jul 13 03:26 PM

I wonder if their fur is anything like alpaca. I have an alpaca wool rug. It is nothing short of wonderful. Thick, soft, warm. Mmm...



Leus  Monday Jul 14 04:53 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by modernhamlet
I wonder if their fur is anything like alpaca. I have an alpaca wool rug. It is nothing short of wonderful. Thick, soft, warm. Mmm...
Yup, pretty close to alpaca.

Another thing that Vicuņas (yep, that's the correct spelling), Guanacos and Llamas have in common is the fact they like to spit on people


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