Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Los animales de Perú


Peru has hundreds of mammals including some rare cats like the puma, jaguar, spectacled bear, and river dolphins.

alpacas
The South American cameloids are one of the more interesting animals of Peru. Their domestication started about 6000 years ago in the Central Andes. The pre-Incan peoples used cameloids as beasts of burden, for their wool, and for meat. The Incas began a systematic program of selecting and separating flocks according to their colors and characteristics.
 
The Andean cameloids include llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas. Guanacos and vicuñas live in families in the wild. The family's territory is marked by their urine. Members of a family urinate and defecate in a communal dung heap.

The families are dominated by a male and from 3 to even 6 female ones along with their young. Young males are driven away by the dominant male before they are one year old. The males join in troops of up to 20 animals. Some live and wander alone until they establish their own families.


Camelids
Camelids are members of the biological family Camelidae, the only living family in the suborder Tylopoda. The extant members of this group are: dromedary camels, Bactrian camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos.

The High Arctic Camel is now extinct

The alpaca resembles a small llama. There are two breeds of alpaca; the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca. The llama has been used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since about 3000 BC.
 

A llama overlooking the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu


 
The Cuy; a cute rodent
The cuy (Cavia porcellus) is a Guinea pig, a small rodent raised in the Andes mountains primarily for food. They reproduce rapidly and have large litters of between four and eight pups. Today they are connected with religious ceremonies throughout South America at Christmas, Easter, Carnival and Corpus Christi.

Cuys in hutches in Peru

Modern domesticated adult Andean guinea pigs weigh between one and two pounds and live between five and seven years. They live in harems of one male to about seven females. The gestation period is three months.

Vocabulario:

las hembras
los machos
las crias
el chaccu
la zona de reserva
la lana
unos grupos de cazadores
disminuir
aumentar
intercambiar

 

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