At the Detroit Zoo
Although the guanacos spit at one another to express displeasure, don't let their spitting image fool you; for the most part these animals are easy going and tightly bonded. According to the humans closest to them, each guanaco adds its own unique personality to the herd. They share their American Grasslands habitat with the collared peccaries west of the Ford Education Center.

The guanaco is slender with long legs and neck. Its dense, wooly coat varies in color from light brown, yellow or brownish-red. Its head, long ears and the nape of its neck are grey, while its legs, belly, back and rump are white. The guanaco has a cleft (split) upper lip, which helps it to grab food.


Scientific name: Lama guanicoe
Continent: South America
Habitat: Grasslands and shrublands within the Andes Mountains
Size: 5-6 feet long; 3-4 feet tall (at the shoulder)
Weight: 175-260 pounds
Diet: The guanaco is an herbivore and eats grasses, leaves and buds.

Reproduction: Gestation 11.5 months; single offspring
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern


The guanaco is the ancestor of the llama.

Like the camel, the guanaco has padded toes that help with its footing on slippery surfaces such as gravel slopes.

The guanaco can spit up to 6 feet away and it rarely misses its target..