Why do people spit on each other?

health : Why does the llama spit?

Camels are known for their salivary attacks. Not that all camels tend to this aesthetically unappealing snot, no, it is mainly the small, cute llamas that are kept as pets in the Andes that stand out.

Big camels rarely spit. However, they too sometimes foam at the mouth. Dromedary stallions, for example, have a long soft palate that they turn out and that then hangs out of their mouth like a balloon.

Llamas spit to maintain their territory and their position in the group. "But not saliva, but choked stomach contents," says André Schüle, curator for camels in the Berlin Zoological Garden. “They're chewing again.” Like all herbivores, they have to process grass and leaves well to break down nutrients. Your three stomachs are always in action.

First, the food reaches the first two stomach compartments. In these fermentation chambers, a lively bacterial flora breaks down the cellulose of the plants. The llama pokes open the food in between and chews it again to give the bacteria an even better chance of attack. Eventually the porridge is digested in the third stomach.

The llama couldn't live without bacteria. They may also give the spit a particularly chilling note. Spitting is a threatening gesture, a first warning. And sometimes it fits so well that it never even comes to a fight. Llamas spit in a very targeted manner, a maximum of four to five meters.

If they do not manage to gain enough respect by spitting, the male camels kick. Their best weapons in the fierce territorial and rank fights, however, are their teeth: the stallions have long tusks with which they can inflict serious injuries on others.

To home page