Physiological And Anatomical Characteristics

Camelids have 37 pairs of chromosomes. Because camelids evolved in desert and semidesert environments,

Table 1 Reproductive parameters of camelids

Puberty

First breeding

Reproductive life

Gestation length

Birth weight

Species

(years)

age (years)

span (years)

(days±SD)

(kg)

Dromedary, male

2.5 3

5 7

15

35 54

Dromedary, female

3 4

4 6

20

375 ±27

26 48

Bactrian camel, male

3

5 6

15

35 54

Bactrian camel, female

34

34

20

400 ±35

32 48

Llama, male

1

23

15

9.5 14.5

Llama, female

1

1.5 2

15

348 ±7

7.0 11.5

Alpaca, male

1

23

15

7.0 8.5

Alpaca, female

1

1.5 2

15

343 ±2

6.0 7.5

(Data from Refs. 6 9.)

they developed sophisticated physiological adaptations for dehydration and extreme cold or heat in their habitats. Old World camelids are much larger, have a single broad footpad and a lighter hairy coat, and are adapted to extreme temperatures and scarce food supplies. South American camelids are small and cloven-hoofed, and have a dense and fine wool coat, enabling them to survive under extremely low temperatures in the snowy semidesert of the Andes.

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