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Systematics and the Origin of Species

Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist is a book written by zoologist and evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, first published in 1942 by Columbia University Press. The book became one of the canonical publications on the modern synthesis.

Based on Mayr's Jesup Lectures delivered at Columbia University in 1941, the book combines concepts of zoology and genetics, and features Mayr's biological species concept. The biological species concept defines a species in terms of biological factors such as reproduction, taking into account ecology, geography, and life history; it remains an important and useful idea in biology, particularly for animal speciation.

In December 2004 the National Academy of Sciences held a colloquium in honour of Mayr's 100th birthday. Systematics and the Origin of Species: On Ernst Mayr's 100th Anniversary was also published in commemoration.[1]


  1. The Methods and Principles of Systematics
  2. Taxonomic Characters and Their Variation
  3. Phenomena of Geographic Variation
  4. Some Aspects of Geographic Variation
  5. The Systematic Categories and the New Species Concept
  6. The Polytypic Species, in Nature and in Systematics
  7. The Species in Evolution
  8. Nongeographic Speciation
  9. The Biology of Speciation
  10. The Higher Categories and Evolution


  1. ^ "Systematics and the Origin of Species. On Ernst Mayr's 100th Anniversary". National Academy of Sciences Online. Retrieved 30 October 2013.