Fourth Rabindranath Barthakur Memorial Lecture 2016 by Shri. S. Ramadorai
Homo Faber may not be the only maker in nature. We know, for a fact, that elephants and rhinos, both denizens of the Brahmaputra valley, are active ecosystem engineers. The rhinoceros is among the most ancient of mammals, pre-dating man by about a million years. Both these magnificent animals intuitively know how to tap into the seasons and forces of nature. As the riverine landscape changes with each season and each year, the rhino builds and refashions the landscape to further its survival. For example, through force of habit, or maybe discipline, the dunghills of the rhino become the nuclei for landscape engineering through selective regeneration of grasses, shrubs, and trees.