Christopher Columbus was an explorer, navigator, a colonizer. He was the European's awareness of America and led to the Columbian Exchange.

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus

The Columbian Exchange was a widespread exchange of plants, animals, and diseases such as potatoes, horses, turkeys, llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs, smallpox, and measles.

From the New World to the Old World the turkey was a cultural change and a source of food for pioneers. Llamas' wool provided a material to make clothes with and to carry heavy items, and alpacas were also used to make clothes and was used for [[#|transportation]].

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Columbus' discovery in the West Indies

"Beasts, we saw none, nor any creatures on land save parrots and lizards, but a boy told me he saw a [[#|large snake]]. No sheep nor goats were seen, and although our stay here has been short, it being now noon, yet were there any, I could hardly have failed of seeing them."

"I saw no beasts in the island, nor any sort of animals except parrots."

"Dogs were seen of a large and small size.."

The passages above are journal entrees from Columbus' journal we wrote in on the first expatiation to the New World. Some of his discovery included finding that some of the islands had some of the same animals back in the Old World, but also different animals he'd never seen before. He expected to see "beasts" roaming among the islands, but his hypothesis was turned down. These journal entrees show the different discoveries Columbus and the other explorers found when they visited islands in the West Indies.


A turkey is a mainly domesticated game bird from the Americas.

In 1519, before Columbus arrived, the Aztecs were raising Turkeys around their [[#|homes]] . The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, kept turkeys in his zoo as food for other animals. Cortez and his Spanish Conquistadors found the Aztecs raising them, Cortez was served the turkey with chocolate and [[#|chile]]. Cortez and the Spaniards brought the savored turkey, or el pavo, back to Europe. The turkey quickly became a popular fowl and a choice dish for the dinners. At the time when America was called the Spanish Indies or New Indies, these new birds were introduced.

In 1530, English merchants [[#|trading]] out of the area of eastern Mediterranean called the Levant, but the English called "Turkey Merchants." The whole area was then part of the Turkish Empire. The English mistakenly named the "Indian Fowl," which was served and enjoyed by all, a "Turkey Bird."

When Columbus arrived in 1492, the turkey was used as a source of food for pioneers and provided a reliable source of meat throughout the year. Turkeys were rich in protein and [[#|niacin]], which is a [[#|vitamin]] B necessary for the normal function of the nervous system.

Turkey was easily adopted by Europeans when they arrived in Spain in 1498. Because the turkey tasted differently than more familiar birds, they were valued for their flavor. When the turkey was brought to Europe in the 1620's, they were domesticated because the demand for their meat was high. Those colonial birds were allowed to breed with wild turkeys, which could provide vital food source for new settlers.

Cultural Change
Thanksgiving was a feast after the harvest, celebrating the last of the crops gathered. There were many foods brought to the [[#|table]] and eaten. In the Americas there was a small variety of animals, birds and plants. The Wampanoag Indians were invited to the meal because they helped the Pilgrims learn how to grow corn and other crops. In addition to the crops the meat that was eaten was the wild turkey and other small wild animals. Since there was an abundance of wild turkeys in the Americas, they soon became a widespread food source. The turkey was a domesticated bird there. One of two domesticated birds that originated from the Americas.

Today, we see turkeys during Thanksgiving and Christmas all the time. We even eat turkey without it being a special occasion.

Modern Wild Turkey
In the 1800's the turkey was on the verge on becoming extinct. Over-hunting and deforestation were taking hold of the turkey and they were becoming scarce. The turkeys were captured and reproduced to help save the turkeys from becoming extinct.

The National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973 to help conserve the turkey and the preservation of the turkeys habitat to [[#|continue]] to grow and reproduce.

Today, there are more than 7 million turkeys roaming around the United States. Every state has a suitable habitat and stable population to allow regulated hunting of the bird. The turkey went from being a prized possession in the 1500's, to almost becoming extinct, and as of right now, prospering throughout the United States.
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The llama is a domesticated animal valued for its soft, woolly fleece.

The Incas were the original domesticators of llamas. They used llamas for various reasons, such as a food source, medicine, wool, and religious beliefs. Llamas were extremely important to the Incas. Llama herders and breeders were well paid for their services. Their health had to be strictly monitored, as spreading disease would destroy their population and leave the Incas with less portions of food, wool, and other needs. Llamas were broken down into three groups, as they were agricultural resources.
These groups are:
1. Designated for priests for religious ceremonies
2. Distributed to public for community involvement
3. Government for general use

Wool and Other Products
When the European's came around the 1500's, disease became the main enemy for llamas as Europeans brought many unknown diseases to the New World. Even though diseases were hurting their income of llama wool and transport, llamas were still the main transport and provided wool.

Domestication allowed the llamas to be used as an additional animal for transport as well as selective breeding to produce a large, strong animal for transportation and packing.
The llama has two coats of fur, one that protects it from the heat and cold and is the undercoat, and the second is a protective layer which sheds debris, rain, and moisture, which is referred to as the "guard hair." The undercoat is usually used for finer garments, while the rougher texture outer coat is used for ropes and rugs.

For transportation, llamas were a workforce helping to build irrigation systems, roads, and temples. Llamas also provide meat, wool for clothes and blankets, hides for sandals, hide for shelter, and fat for candles. Also their dung can be dried and used for fuel.

Modern World Llama
Since the 1500's llamas have created a major impact on our world today. As for transport, llamas are used for things such as backpacking tents and gears. Llamas wool is still used today to make items such as clothing and blankets.
Llamas are, now, also used as pet therapy. They are being used for elderly and handicapped people. They make good therapy animals because they are instinctive and curious with new people and surroundings. To add on to that, that are very gentle and do not act negative to humans.

Since we domesticated llamas, we are able to use them not only for wool, transport, and food, but have evolved into now using them for pet therapy.

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An alpaca is a domesticated animal valued for its wool.

Like the llamas, they were domesticated by the Incas.

In the [[#|Inca culture]], alpacas were considered a "prize." Their coats can make the finest wool, which was woven into robes used by Inca royalty.
They also provided food, fuel, clothing, and transportation. The llama and alpaca are very similar in how they were used, and what they can produce.

Europeans saw the significance of the alpaca to the Incas and thought of this as a chance to seize control of the Incan population. By slaughtering the alpacas, around 90%, the Spaniards deprived the Native Americans from their source of food, killing around 80% of the population. In doing so, Europeans were able to gain control over the Americas and claim it as their territory sense most of the Native Americans were gone.

Wool and Other Products
When Europeans came to America, they bred the alpaca to emphasize its naturally finer wool. The harvest of this wool served as the base for domestic tile market. Massive textile mills were built, which created clothes and blankets out of alpacas wool.

Alpacas also have two layers of fur, like the llama. The undercoat, which protects it from the heat and cold, and the protective layer which sheds debris, rain and moisture.

Alpacas have a cellular structure similar to the [[#|human hair]] and is much more stronger than sheep wool. The baby fiber is extra fine and can be sold for a higher price than llamas. Many Europeans profited off of the Alpaca Industry.



"Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal." Internet History Sourcebooks Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <>.
The source was useful, because it helped connect the facts about some of the things Columbus discovered and what he actually said about his discoveries.
Crosby, Alfred. "The Columbian Exchange." n. page. Web. 27 Sep. 2012. <>.
This source gave us little facts which helped give detail for our argument.
"Turkey (bird)." Web. 27 Sep 2012. <>.
This source gave us information on the turkey, which helped us gain historical evidence.
Feseal, Jeff. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2012. <>.
This source gave us information on the domesticated animals.

. "Llama History." Buckhorn Llama CO.. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2012. <>.
This source gave us some history on llamas.

Richards, Malcolm. "Thanksgiving History." The Food of Thanksgiving. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2012. < home/es-399-
This source gave us background on the first Thanksgiving.

"Wild Turkey." Wild Turkey. Web. 27 Sep 2012. <>.
This source gave us more information on the turkey.

"The Alpaca: A South American Camelid." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012.
<> This source gave us information of what alpacas wool was used for.

"Alpaca History." Gateway Ranch. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012.
<> This source gave us some history of the alpaca about the Spanish killing them to gain power.

"Llama & Alpaca Wool and Fiber." Lamapeadia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012.
<> This source gave us information about how alpaca and llama wool was used and how it has two layers of fur.

"Llama & Alpaca History." Lamapeadia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012.
<> This gave us information about the Incas use of llamas and alpacas and a little information on the Spanish.

"Llama." Llama. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012. <> This source gave us information on how the llama is used today.

"The Columbian Biological Exchange." New World to Old World. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012.
<> This source tells us what animals went from the New World to the Old World.

"Wild Turkey History." Birding/Wild Birds. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012. <>
This source tells us how high of a demand turkey meat was for European colonists and about the modern world turkey.

"Alpacas and Llamas." Animal Welfare Information Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 September 2012. <>
This source gave us history of the Inca culture with alpacas and llamas, and how they were used as transportation and wool.

Sale, Kirk Patrick. The Conquest of Paradise. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1991. Print. This source gave us information on how Europeans used the turkey.