If you are curious about the Alpaca called RJ that is trending on social media, you will find that a lot of people are asking about alpacas because of the popularity of these posts. Here you can learn about REAL alpacas and discover the unique characteristics of these furry creatures.
Although alpacas are fast becoming an attraction that has even reached cartoons and children’s shows status all over the world, there are many valuable lessons to learn when studying them.
Here are some interesting facts to help you get started in exploring many aspects of these creatures.
Animals are here for us
There are a lot of lessons in the Bible that are worth sharing. Among the many fascinating lessons, we find that the animals God created to offer powerful and meaningful revelations.
In James 3:7, the Bible shares that “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind.” This is the first important lesson worth sharing with your children.
Animal Study attracts youth
In studying the Bible, stories about animals get the most attention from children. So try to find animals in the Bible or in other uplifting animal stories like those found in publications like Creation Illustrated. You will find many scientific facts while gaining an understanding of why God created the animals and how we should care for them.
What are Alpacas?
If you or your children have been curious about these unusual creatures, here are some details about them and what they do.
An alpaca, with the scientific name Vicugna pacos, is a domesticated South American member of the camel family.
Accordingly, Alpacas are limited in range and number despite their cuteness. They are also the most specialized of the four species of lamoids, being adapted to the marshy ground at altitudes from 4,000 to 4,800 meters (13,000 to 15,700 feet).
Not a Llama
Children may wonder if an alpaca is the same as the animal in the Disney movie ‘The Emperor’s New Groove,’ and the short answer is that they are not.
The alpaca differs from the llama in having a rounded rather than squarish body and in its habit of pressing its tail close to the body, rather than holding it erect as the llama. Lamas are also larger than alpacas and can carry heavy loads as pack animals.
Alpacas are the most important of the lamoids for fleece production.
One of the earliest sightings of these historical animals is from the period of the Incan civilization.
Historically, the wearing of robes made of alpaca and vicuña fleeces was always reserved for the nobility and royalty. Today, anybody can wear clothing that comes from alpaca wool that is sheared every two years. Explain to your children that even if the alpacas are sheared of their wool, they are still protected. It is the necessity of the shearing that makes using their fur okay for clothing.
How do you teach children about alpacas?
There are a lot of resources about alpacas including an in-depth Unit Study on alpacas for students from the publishers of Creation Illustrated. This resource in particular includes lessons in a variety of subject areas. The Alpaca Unit Study unit is available on the Creation Illustrated website with the following description:
Alpaca Unit Study
Explore the many amazing features God has given to Alpacas! From their amazingly soft and warm fleece to the history of how they have been utilized as domesticated animals in the Andes Mountains. Now they are a very popular hobby farm animal that can teach youth and families about animal husbandry. This wonderful Unit Study on the life and usefulness of alpacas will help students understand these fascinating creatures. (typically for Grades 5-8 but adaptable to other grades).
Students will learn many amazing facts and details about alpacas focusing on two main species and how they differ from llamas. The lessons include Reading, Educational Videos, Bible Study, Science, Math, History, Geography, Vocabulary & Spelling, Art, a Puzzle, and Other Fun Facts and Activities. Students will gain an understanding of this wondrous part of Creation along with the character-building lessons God intended.
The Alpaca Unit Study is a great way to teach your students facts about specific animals that could help them explore the many wonders of God’s beautiful creation.
There is more to learn
The great thing about the Alpaca Unit Study from Creation Illustrated is that it is not the only one available. There are currently 19 Unit Studies from Creation Illustrated that not only focus on creatures, but other subjects as well like minerals, national parks, snow, pine trees, flowers, and more! The good thing is that if your child becomes curious about other animals, you have a lot of studies from which to choose.
There is a lot more to learn and a lot more to explore other than alpacas, but they are cute, curious, and attractive, so it is always a good idea to start with them