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Within the current context of global interest in biological diversity, this is a timely review of the most recent research into the evolutionary origins of biological diversity and the processes of speciation, from a stellar cast of contributors including Simon Conway-Morris, Stephen Jay Gould, and Sir Robert May. The chapters in this book explore the question of how variation arises within species; some emphasize the ecological and behavioural basis of differentiation; others argue for the role of natural selection in generating speciation. Several chapters focus on the important emerging links between sexual selection, sexual conflict and population differentiation. The final chapters explore how fossil record throws light on species diversity and extinction. An essential book for researchers and graduate students wishing to keep abreast of the latest thinking on the evolution of biological diversity.