A quick post with some nice pictures of the wildlife of Xinjiang. Much is similar to that of the dinosaur sites at Bayan Mandahu though while the environment is similar and the vegetation comparable in density and type, there were far fewer animals of all kinds. Insects and other inverts were generally rarer and dominated by just a few species. Birds and especially lizards and snakes were also much less common. However there were some real gems and here are a few of them. (Above, female [huge] and male [tiny] nephila).
Wolf track. These are apparently often heard but not seen. We didn’t hear or see them, but tracks were in great abundance, some very close to our camp. I also saw, but failed to photograph, desert hare – they were rather too quick for me, as was a rather large eagle.
And the crowning glory, a jerboa. Awake and active in the early morning, I was able to get withing about 6 feet of it, so even with a puny lens got some very good close-ups. It was surprisingly tame for a wild animal that is so prone to predation (as numerous owl pellets testified).