Sunday, August 3, 2014

Creature Feature #288: Guanaco

The Guanaco is a South American camelid, widespread along the altiplano - the high, dry plateau across the Andes. She lives in herds consisting of several females and their young - called chulengos - and lead by a dominant male. Bachelor males form large herds, sometimes with up to 50 members. She makes her home at high altitudes, and has blood rich in red blood cells, approximately four times as many as a human. This helps her survive in a low oxygen environment. Her habitat is also very dry - in some parts it has not rained for 50 years - and she gains her moisture from fog caught in cacti and lichens. Despite this arid environment, she is apparently a capable swimmer.

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