Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
| Lama guanicoe|
The Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is an elegant, fine-boned lamoid animal that stands approximately 3 ft 6" (1.06 m) at the shoulder and weighs about 200 lb (90 kg). Like the llama, the guanaco is double coated with a coarse guard hair and soft undercoat, which is even finer and thus more highly prized than that of the alpaca, although they carry far less of it. The colour varies very little, ranging from a light brown to dark cinnamon and shading to white underneath. Guanacos have grey faces and small straight ears. They are extremely striking with their large, alert brown eyes, streamlined form, and energetic pace. They are particularly ideal for keeping in large groups in open parklands.
It is an endangered species; poachers hunt it for its meat, skin, and wool.
When the Europeans first arrived in South America, there were an estimated half billion guanacos, but current estimates place their numbers at 500,000.
Guanacos can run with speed of 56 km per hour. The running is important for their survival, because in the open places where they live there is no place to hide.
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