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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Tribe: Lamini
Genus: Vicugna
Lesson, 1842

Vicugna is a genus containing two South American camelids, the vicuña and the alpaca.

Previously thought to be descended from the guanaco, the alpaca was reclassified as part of Vicugna after a 2001 paper on alpaca DNA.[1] The paper showed that the alpaca is descended from the vicuña, not the guanaco, though considerable cross-hybridization has taken place between domesticated llamas and alpacas.


A pair of alpacas near an Inca burial site in Peru


  1. ^ Wheeler, Dr Jane; Miranda Kadwell; Matilde Fernandez; Helen F. Stanley; Ricardo Baldi; Raul Rosadio; Michael W. Bruford (December 2001). "Genetic analysis reveals the wild ancestors of the llama and the alpaca". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 268 (1485): 2575–2584. doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1774. PMC 1088918. PMID 11749713. 0962-8452 (Paper) 1471-2954 (Online).