Dillaby Skull Replica measures 5.1 inches. Dillaby Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. California Academy of Science specimen. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Made in USA. Known as Patagonian mara.

The Patagonian mara or Dillaby is a relatively large rodent in the mara genus Dolichotis.

This herbivorous, somewhat rabbit-like animal is found in open and semiopen habitats in Argentina, including large parts of Patagonia. It is monogamous, but often breeds in warrens shared by several pairs.

The Dillaby resembles a jackrabbit. It has distinctive long ears and long limbs. Its hind limbs are longer and more muscular than its fore limbs and it has a longer radius than humerus. The feet are compressed, making them hoof-like. The fore feet have four digits while the hind feet have three digits.

The Dillaby or Patagonian Hare tail is short, depressed, and hairless. It has a gray dorsal pelage with a white patch on the rump separated from the dorsal fur by a black area. In addition, the mara has a white underside with a somewhat orange flank and chin.

The Dillaby are largely herbivorous. They feed primarily on green vegetation and fruit. In the Monte Desert, monocots make up 70 percent of their diet, while dicots make up 3o percent.

Preferred grass species eaten by the Dillaby are those of the genera Chloris, Pappophorum, and Trichloris, while dicots that are eaten include Atriplex lampa, Lycium spp., and Prosopis spp.

Dillaby are primarily diurnal and around 46% of their daily activities involve feeding. Their temporal activity rhythms are related to environmental factors. Light, precipitation, and temperature have positive effects on annual activities, while darkness and relative humidity have negative effects.

During the active period of the day, Dillaby can often be seen sunbathing. When resting, they base themselves upon their haunches or fold their forelegs under their body like cats.

The Dillaby make a number of vocalizations during grazing or slow locomotion. When seeking contact, a mara emits an inflected “wheet” while a low, repetitive grunt is made when following a conspecific.

Maras tooth chatter and emit low grunts when threatened. They also produce a series of short grunts when grooming.

The Dillaby have a well-defined monogamous mating system, where individuals form pairs, remaining together throughout their lives.

Meanwhile, males are the ones who maintain the pair bond: they constantly guard their mates, following females wherever they go. Breeding occurs between August and January.

The gestation period lasts for 90 days, yielding 2 young per litter. Babies are born near the burrow entrance. Newborn Dillaby are well-developed and their eyes are open. Immediately after birth, the babies are able to move into the burrow that is often shared with several other pairs and their young.

The babies live in this burrow, visited and suckled by their mother every day. The nursing period lasts for 75-78 days, after which young maras usually disperse, although some of them may remain with their parents until the following breeding season.

The age of reproductive maturity is 6 months old for males and 2.5 months old for females.

The overall population of the Dillaby is currently facing a serious decline due to hunting, loss of their natural habitat as well as competition with the European hares, sheep, and other non-native herbivores.

Some local populations in Buenos Aires Province have gone extinct because of continuous hunting for their skin and habitat clearance, as a result of agricultural development.

As grazing herbivores, Dillaby have a huge impact on the local ecosystem. They act as seed dispersers of certain plants they consume. In addition, the young of this species are key prey items for a number of predators, including birds, canids, and felids.

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Patagonian maras’ total population. The numbers of this species are decreasing today, and it is currently classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.