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camelid, lips, interesting factsCamelids have prehensile lips, meaning they have the ability to grip things with their finger-like lips.  Llamas, alpacas, camels, vicunas and guanacos have a cleft or split in the upper lip that enables them to manoeuvre grass and twigs, rotate them and even to draw food into the mouth.  When a llama is trying to reach a leaf, the lips serve as fingers to grab the leaf and orientate it for the teeth to do the cutting.  These amazing lips can add another two or three inches onto the reach of the animal.  This can make the difference between eating or not eating when in the wild.  The long and mobile lips also make up for the fact that llamas have very short tongues, which other animals can use to manipulate their food

llama, alpaca, guanaco, vicuna,  prehensile lips

Split Upper Lip

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