How much do you know about llamas?

By Meghan Pryce

Published December 9, 2019


Llamas are indeed majestic, furry creatures. But what do you really know about them?

On National Llama Day, Dec. 9, learn some interesting facts about these animals.


How are alpacas and llamas different?

The animals are often confused for one another. So how do you tell them a part? For one, alpacas are much smaller. Llamas are typically 5 to 6 feet tall, according to the Cosley Zoo in Illinois.


But they are distant cousins of camels.

Yes, both llamas and alpacas are members of the camel family. So you can't be blamed too much for mixing them up.

Sarah Duff/CNN

How long do they live?

Llamas can live up to 20 years, according to the Cosley Zoo. Their average lifespan is 15 years.

Joanne Lane/

So why do llamas spit?

While llamas are known for spitting, it's rare they do it at humans, according to the zoo. Llamas spit when they’re trying to assert dominance over members of the pack or to deter predators.

Courtesy Sheryl Akagi

Therapy llamas are a thing

Move over dogs. Therapy llamas are here to provide comfort with their soft, cuddly fur.

Courtesy Kris Dreessen