Perhaps the most long-standing question in evolutionary biology concerns the origin of species. What are the environmental, evolutionary, genetic, geographical, behavioral or physiological conditions necessary for a species to split into two? Schilthuizen, professor of biology at the University of Malaysia Sabah in Malaysia, does a superb job of reviewing the voluminous scientific literature on this topic, distilling it to a manageable size and presenting it in a form that is both engaging and accessible for the nonspecialist. In addition to a good deal of natural history, from descriptions of the mating behaviors of fire-bellied toads to the differences between left- and right-handled snails, Schilthuizen provides an insider’s perspective on both laboratory and field experiments.
Thanks to Ken Kassem for introducing this book.
This—The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology), a 2010 publication, looks interesting but I haven’t read it yet.