The origin of new species-speciation-is a ventral theme in evolution. How do species split ? How long does it take for a new species to lie born ? And what is a species anyway ? Such is the importance of the
problem that Charles Darwin himself dubbed it 'the Mystery of Mysteries'. These questions, the locus of intense debate in biology and critical for any assessment of biodiversity, are all tackled in the book. Schilthuizen, scientist and journalist, Lunches into the debate with tremendous energy and wit. Using the sometimes vicious academic debates and vivid personalities of the scientists as background, lie explores the meandering path of speciation research. The whole subject leaps to life, and its significance for understanding biodiversity comes clear. This is a fascinating, galloping read that will appeal equally to the lay reader and to students.