In addition to extinct animals, I did get to encounter a variety of extant fauna during my trip to Mongolia. In this post I’ll show some of the reptiles and birds we encountered.
This is the highly venomous Siberian Pit Viper, Gloydius halys. We kept a respectful distance.
Update! John Acorn has suggested the Desert Wheatear, Oenanthe deserti. Looks like a good match!
I was totally blown away by the size of the Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus at the Natural History Museum in Ulaanbaatar – look at that wingspan! I have since found out via Wikipedia that it is one of the largest birds of prey, and possibly the heaviest bird of prey. This is the dominant scavenger at a carcass and is strong enough to rip through hides. I’m pretty sure I saw some of these on the road out of Ulaanbaatar.
And I had to include a photo from my previous expedition in 2007, a Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos. They are quite heavy. This guy’s wingtip clipped my head as I was holding him, and it was incredibly strong – I cannot imagine being hit with a full flap.