The Guanaco is the largest mammal in South America and the Llama’s closest relative. Although related, Guanacos are wild animals while Llamas are domesticated. The Guanaco’s wool is prized for its soft warm feel and is found in luxury fabric.
When they are babies, two youngsters run toward each other until their puffed out chests bang together. Then they fall on the ground and seem to almost laugh.
When they are mature, these fights will be more violent as they establish dominance and breeding rights.. Guanacos live far to the south at the tip of South America. The guanaco is a wild grazing animal that once provided the native people of the region with meat, wool, leather, sinew, and bone.
Today, according to William L. Franklin, a scientist who has lived with them and studied them, there are perhaps fewer than 100,000 of these cousins of the camel living on preserves. An adult guanaco stands five feet tall and weighs 250 pounds.
Their chests are padded with layers of fat, and that is a good thing, for their chests are their main fighting weapon when battling among themselves. Two guanacos settle a dispute by facing off against each other. Slowly, they close on each other.
Then, as if on signal, they rise on their hind legs, and their chests come together with a terrific crash. The animals fall to the ground and attack each other with their long, sharp canine teeth. The loser will leave the scene of the battle with deep gashes on his throat and neck.
Such battles are used to settle disputes over territory and to chase yearlings out of the herd when it is time for them to start off on their own.