Vicuna Are wiuld animals who have evolved and been trained over time to become pack animals. They are longish haired with soft woolen coat, of deep cinnamon or red brown. On the chest, at the base of the neck, is a peculiar, ‘mane’ of silky white hairs which may be 8-12 inches in length.
The vicuña is extremely slender, with long skinny limbs and neck. The head is small and wedge shaped, with small, triangular ears. Their teeth grow constantly and are reenameled as they grow tohelp them to eat the harsher grasses in their environment..
In the wild, breeding occurs in March/April, with births taking place in February and March after nearly a year of gestation. They have just one little one, only very rarely do twins occur.
They are weaned at about 8 months of age. The Vicuna is a hardy animal and just about ten minutes after birth can stand and walk along with the mother..
vicuñas have a very unique system. A day-time territory is used for grazing, and is connected to a higher sleeping territory by an undefended corridor. Together, the two territories cover several acres and are marked by dung heaps.
Families are very close knit in nature with one dominant male keeping his group within a close area at all times. Usually forbidden by the dominant male who prevents it.
Juveniles of both sexes are evicted from the group by the superior male. YOung males at 4-9 months, and females at 10-11 months of age.
Communal bathrooms are used by each family group. Vicuñas will flee at the slightest sign of danger and are constantly alert and very shy.
They can run about 30 miles per hour at elevation of nearly 5000 feet which is assisted by a heart that is 50% larger than the average weight for similar mammals.
They have a very high soprano like whistle that they use to alert the other vicunas.
Vicuñas must drink daily which means their range is limited each day whether in the wild or in work situations.
This is the first time I’ve seen this mammal. I am regular viewer of the national Geo channel and also discovery, but I’ve never seen this kind of creature on either before.
Thanks you for making us aware of species which we didn’t know existed!