KEMP: Guard hair or medulated fiber.
LAMA: Scientific name for the genus containing llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicunas; vicunas are sometimes separated into their own genus.
LINE: A group of related animals within a breed.
LINEBREEDING: The mating of individuals within a particular line. A mating system designed to maintain a substantial degree of relationship to a highly regarded ancestor or group of ancestors without causing high levels of inbreeding.
LINECROSSING: The mating of sires of one line or line combination to dams of another line or line combination.
MACHO: Male alpaca used in a breeding program.
MAJOR GENE: A gene that has a readily discernible effect on a trait.
MATERNAL HYBRID VIGOR: Hybrid vigor for the maternal component of a trait.
MATERNAL TRAIT: A trait especially important in breeding females. Examples include fertility, freedom from dystocia, milk production, maintenance efficiency, and mothering ability.
MATING: The process that determines which (selected) males are bred to which (selected) females.
MATING SYSTEM: A set of rules for mating.
MEAN: An arithmetic average.
MEDULLA: The hollow core found in coarse guard hair or kemp fibers, often found in the chest and underbelly portions of the fleece.
MEDULLATION: The degree to which a fleece contains medullated hair.
MELANIN: Pigment in skin which determines skin and coat color. Melanin is found in two chemically different forms: eumelanin (which produces brown and black) and phaeomelanin (which produces yellow and red).
MERIT: A praiseworthy quality.
MIGRATION: The movement of individuals into or out of a population.
MULTICOLOR: An animal that incorporates more than one color in its coat.
MULTI-GENES: Genes that affect multicoloration in alpacas.
MULTIPLE-SIRE PASTURE: A breeding pasture (or pen) containing more than one sire at a time.
MULTIPLE-TRAIT SELECTION: Selection for more than one trait.
NATURAL SELECTION: Selection that occurs in nature independent of deliberate human control.
NATURAL SERVICE: Natural mating (as opposed to artificial insemination).
NEGATIVE ASSORTATIVE MATING: The mating of dissimilar individuals.
NON-RANDOM MATING: Any mating system in which males are not randomly assigned to females.
NORMAL DISTRIBUTION: The statistical distribution that appears graphically as a symmetric, bell-shaped curve. In animal breeding, the values along the horizontal axis represent the levels of performance, breeding value, etc., that are being examined in a population; the height of the curve at any point represents the relative frequency of that value in the population.