Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
…these are a few of my favourite things.
The llama’s coat is extraordinarily effective at insulating, which is clearly demonstrated by the length of time that snow will remain on a llamas back without melting.
It is interesting that alpacas have a slightly different type of coat to the llama. Generally speaking, an alpaca coat does not have the coarse guard hair found on Classic llamas, instead it repels water through density, rather than the umbrella of the long shielding fibers over a soft down.
Putting your hand on an alpaca is like pushing your hand into a giant sponge, but doing so allows the snow and rain to penetrate the coat to the skin. Maybe that’s why alpacas get very ‘spitty’ when another alpaca comes anywhere near them! ….hmmmm….llamas too
The Classic llama has very long coarse fiber that shields the soft under-down from rain, snow and sun. Thus, they can often stay in the sun without overheating. Fiber llamas do not have this coarse guard hair and frequently require more protection from the elements, with shade in the summer and coats in the winter.