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How do new animal and plant species come about? How quickly does it happen? And what are species anyway? Schilthuizen, reputed scientist and journalist, launches into the debate that has baffled biologists ever since Darwin, with tremendous energy and wit. The whole subject leaps to life and its significance for understanding biodiversity comes clear. This is a fascinating read that will appeal equally to the lay reader and to students getting to grips with the fundementals of a complex subject.