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Speciation in Birds Paperback – July 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0974707785 ISBN-10: 0974707783 Edition: 1st Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Roberts and Company Publishers; 1st Edition edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974707783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974707785
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,230,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This is an insightful and original work, comprehensive and up to date, covers many interesting ideas, and is particularly good on inclusion of recent genetic information on the process of speciation in birds. It will be the best work available on its topic, the behavioral and genetic causes and consequences of speciation in birds.”
– Robert Payne, Curator of Birds and Professor of Zoology, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

“An insightful and thought-provoking treatise on speciation and its consequences in birds, the taxon that brought you the biological species concept and the doctrine of allopatric speciation. This book delivers a grand update that expands our understanding of the role of ecology and behavior.”
– Dolph Schluter, Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia, and the author of The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation

“As the literature in any field explodes there is simultaneously an increasing need for synthesis yet an increasing difficulty in achieving it. This is certainly true for the ever-popular subject of ornithology. Trevor Price takes up the challenge to explain how birds speciate, and succeeds magnificently. It is a comprehensive review of all the major ideas, beautifully illustrated with pictures of birds. More than 1300 works are cited, but more impressive is the range of subjects, from genetics to biogeography, from the reconstruction of phylogeny to ecology and the causes of reproductive isolation, all discussed with admirable clarity. If they were alive today Ernst Mayr would bestow patrician approval on this work of scholarship, and Theodosius Dobzhansky would applaud from the side-lines.”
– Peter R. Grant, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Princeton University, and the author of Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches

About the Author

Trevor Price has spent his professional career studying speciation in birds, working for his doctoral thesis on the famous adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands. For the past 20 years he has been studying speciation and adaptive radiation in the Himalayas. He is Professor of Biology at the University of Chicago.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By GrrlScientist on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
The question of what is a species and how they arise has generated numerous discussions and tremendous controversy throughout the decades. This interest is more than academic, as any bird watcher will tell you since the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) routinely splits one species into two or lumps two species into one, thereby wreaking havoc with many birders' "life lists"; that master list of species seen that is kept by each birder. More than once, I have heard birders question the validity of one or another of the AOU's decisions based on their personal personal experience or on the scientific data. However, a new book has been published, Speciation in Birds by Trevor Price (Roberts & Company; Greenwood Village, Colorado: 2007) that will provide the reader -- whether an academic, student or birder -- with a clearer knowledge of the extensive research that underlies and contributes to the dynamic concept of what is a species.

In this book, the author examines the empirical evidence documenting the complex and often subtle relationships between birds and their environment; including birds' extraordinary ability to disperse over long distances and into new habitats, their often complex song and reproductive behaviors and how all these traits combine to drive phenotypic and cultural differences that mold them into different forms, ultimately giving rise to the genetic divergence associated with speciation. To this end, the book evaluates the contributions of sexual and natural selection in bird speciation, along with the roles of geographical isolation, ecological differentiation and genetic drift.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JW on November 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Speciation in Birds is a masterpiece. If you are interested in the process of how one species splits into two separate reproductively isolated species this book is for you. Following a description of what is meant by the term species, this book proceeds to discuss the speciation process in detail, each step backed up by empirical evidence. Price proceeds through the roles of geography, ecology, and sexual selection in his explanation of how species are formed. This is not one of those dull books where you get bogged down in endless technical jargon and black ink. Rather, Speciation in Birds is vividly illustrated. Whether you are bird lover or not this is a must have for anyone interested in the fields of natural history, evolution and biology.

Speciation in Birds
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Schneider on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I agree with the previous reviewers that this is a wonderful book, I would caution that, while the author is a good writer and attempts to limit the technical jargon, there is a LOT of conceptual information and new terminology here (for some of us) and it can be slow going if you really try to understand it. I would recommended reading it slowly, perhaps a few pages at a time, with frequent consultation with the glossary at the end of the book!
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By Bernard Lavallee on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
A wonderful update of Mayr's classic work 'Animal Species and Evolution'. The book is very readable for the educated layman as well as packed full of useful information. As an amateur exploring evolution in general and more specifically Ornithology, the book was easy going and tremendously enjoyable. It will help if you first read Mayr's classic work mentioned above as it introduces you to the biologic species concept as well as providing a thorough grounding in geographic isolation and speciation, which forms the bedrock of this book. Congratulations to Mr. Price for including us amateurs in his audience. I highly recommended the book!
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