What makes llamas spit?
Llamas are derived from guanaco and come from South America. There the animals mainly serve people as pack animals - but are also kept as farm animals or pets. Just like their relatives, the big camels, they are known for their saliva attacks. But unlike llamas, camels rarely spit. Most of them just foam at the mouth.
But why is the woolly escape animal always ready to spit? Llamas are ruminants. In order to draw the nutrients from leaves and grasses, their three stomachs have to be constantly busy. The food gets into the first two stomachs first. These act like two fermentation chambers in which an active bacterial flora breaks down the cellulose of the plants. The lama repeatedly pushes open the digested food in order to chew it again. It does this to give the bacteria a better chance of attack. The vegetable pulp is then digested in the third stomach.
Therefore, llamas do not spit saliva, but rather choked stomach acid. The bacteria produced in the stomachs give the saliva a particularly deterrent note. The ruminants almost always get a good hit because they can spit up to five meters with precision. Llamas spitting on people is extremely rare and is more likely to happen when they have been molested or tortured. As a rule, conspecifics are therefore exposed to the damp attack when the animals defend their territory and want to maintain their position in the herd.
If the spitting tactic is not enough as a deterrent, llamas like to hit and bite. This causes violent territorial fights for the stallions, which usually result in serious injuries. By the way, researchers have found that the llamas' stomach acid has medicinal properties. The animals' immune system produces a special type of protein. With the help of this, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism can be treated.
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