ALTIPLANO: The high plateau in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia located around Lake Titicaca.
ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION (AI): A reproductive technology in which semen is collected from males, then used in fresh or frozen form to breed females.
ARTIFICIAL SELECTION: Selection that is under human control.
BASE POPULATION: The population of animals whose parents are either unknown or ignored for the purposes of inbreeding and relationship calculation. Typically the individuals appearing at the back of the pedigrees of the original animals in a herd or flock.
BERSERK MALE: A male who was afforded too much affection by humans as a cria and shows no fear of them as an adult.
BIOTECHNOLOGY: The application of biological knowledge to practical needs. Often refers to (1) technologies for altering reproduction, or (2) technologies for locating, identifying, comparing, or otherwise manipulating genes.
BLANKET: The highest quality fleece which begins at the shoulder, runs the full length of the back and down each side until it meets the more medulated fiber on the belly. Excludes neck, leg, chest, belly, and britch. The term originated from the image of a horse's saddle blanket.
BLOODLINE: Breeder's term that alludes to pedigree.
BREED: A race of animals within a species. Animals of the same breed usually have a common origin and similar identifying characteristics.
BREEDING OBJECTIVE: (1) A weighted combination of traits defining aggregate breeding, value for use in an economic selection index. (2) A general goal for a breeding program -- a notion of what constitutes the best animal.
BREEDING VALUE: (1) The value of an individual as a (genetic) parent. (2) The part of an individual's genotypic value that is due to independent and therefore transmittable gene effects.
BREED TRUE: Alpacas breed true if two parents with a particular, simply inherited phenotype produce offspring of that same phenotype exclusively.
BREED TYPE: The look of an alpaca.
BUNDLED STAPLES: A grouping of microstaples that together form a larger staple. The formation of the microstaples is determined by the arrangement and density of the follicles in the skin. Bundling is said to be an indicator of a dense fleece, due to the evenness of follicle size and consistency of shape in the skin. (Cameron Holt, Private Correspondence.)
BURNING: Removing vegetable matter from fiber during processing through the use of chemicals.
CARDING: The final cleaning process, accomplished by either hand or machine, through which alpaca fiber goes before spinning.
CHACU: A vicuna drive or capture that originated with the Incas.
CHARACTERISTIC: A specific phenotypic trait, such as crimp or fineness.
CHROMOSOME: One of a number of long strands of DNA and associated proteins present in the nucleus of every cell.
CLOSED POPULATION: A population that is closed to genetic material from the outside.
CO-EFFICIENT OF VARIATION (cv): The variation around the mean expressed as a percentage.
COLLATERAL RELATIVES: Relatives that are neither direct ancestors nor direct descendants of an individual--siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
COLOR GENES: Genes which determine an alpaca's coat color.
CORRECTIVE MATING: The mating of alpacas that is intended to correct faults. For example; mating a dam with a bad bite to a stud with a good bite.
CRIA: A camelid less than one year old.
CRIMP: The regular undulation along the length of an individual fiber or lock of fiber. A higher number of crimps per inch can indicate a finer fiber.
CULLING: The process that determines which animals in a herd will not be bred.