Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wild horses of Mongolia

The nomadic life

Hustai National Park is south of Ulaanbaatar. There is a series of sand dunes just outside the park entrance, which acts as a first stop on most tours.


Within the park, we are back into the more common steppe, covered by long grasses. The park is famous for its birch trees (from which it gets its name), and its population of Przewalski horses, which are the only type of horse which has never been domesticated, making them the only known truly wild horses.

This is the sort of place where they hang out. When we went there, summer had just ended, and the days were beginning to get cold. The horses had a preferred area of the park in the summer, but tended to roam elsewhere when the weather turned cold. The guides weren't sure which of the two places the horses would be. Suffice it to say they weren't where we went at first.

On the steppe there was no sound but the wind and the roaring of the deer. They were well over a kilometre away, but the sound is unforgettable. But there was no sign of any horses.

Somewhere in there is a red deer.

After waiting for some time amongst the natural bonsai of the steppe, we retreated to the visitor's centre for a traditional meal. Our guides conferred with other guides, but nobody had seen any wild horses over the past few days. They decided to have us wait until the last group in the park came out.

Success! They had seen them. The horses had gone to a spot quite close to where we had been waiting for them. So back into the vehicles and over to a spot where the stream was incised quite steeply into the steppe.

The horses move in family groupings, with normally one male and a few females and foals.

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