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Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist

Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist

With a New Introduction by the Author

Ernst Mayr

ISBN 9780674862500

Publication date: 10/15/1999

Ernst Mayr is perhaps the most distinguished biologist of the twentieth century, and Systematics and the Origin of Species may be one of his greatest and most influential books. This classic study, first published in 1942, helped to revolutionize evolutionary biology by offering a new approach to taxonomic principles and correlating the ideas and findings of modern systematics with those of other life science disciplines. This book is one of the foundational documents of the “Evolutionary Synthesis.” It is the book in which Mayr pioneered his new concept of species based chiefly on such biological factors as interbreeding and reproductive isolation, taking into account ecology, geography, and life history.

In his new Introduction for this edition, Mayr reflects on the place of this enduring work in the subsequent history of his field.


  • [This book] should be read by all biologists, professional and amateur.

    —Natural History (review of the first edition)


  • Ernst Mayr was Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.

Book Details

  • 372 pages
  • 5-3/8 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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