Five Toed Llama

Unknown Hoofed Mam malof South America.

Significant sighting: Pottery fragments showing animals that look like llamas with five toes were discovered in the 1920s in the pre-Incan Paracas culture area near Pisco, Ica Department, Peru, by Julio C. Tello. Estimates of the cul ture's age are now put between 600 b.c and ad. 200. Tello also apparently came across bones that seemingly belonged to such an animal. Llamas normally have only two toes, and most fossil camelids are similarly cloven-hoofed. Possible explanations:

(1) A Llama (Lama glama) with polydactyly, a condition producing more than the normal number of toes, might have been given special treatment by Paracan artists and shamans. Llamas have been domesticated for thousands of years; their ancestors are represented in cave paintings in the Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

(2) An unknown variety of litoptern, an order of odd-toed South American ungulates that ultimately died out in the Pleistocene. Some were medium-sized and horselike (Thoatherium), while others were long-necked with an elongated tapirlike snout (Macrauchenia). Most had three toes, but some were reduced to one toe. Sources: Julio César Tello, "Andean

Civilization: Some Problems of Peruvian Archaeology," in Proceedings of the Twenty-third International Congress of Americanists, September 1928 (New York, 1930), pp. 259-290; Karl Shuker, "Hoofed Mystery Animals and Other Crypto-Ungulates, Part III," Strange Magazine, no. 11 (SpringSummer 1993): 25-27, 48-50.

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