Scattered over several continents, the ancient lakes of the world have a unique uninterrupted history dating back beyond 100,000 years. Ancient lakes are, in effect, aquatic islands in which a complex of ecology, genetics and evolutionary constraints have shaped in isolation their biotas over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. The diverse faunas achieve some of the highest levels of diversity kwn to any habitat, offering unique opportunities as 'natural laboratories' for studying the mechanisms of evolution and speciation in situ. This internationally authored volume contains the latest research results and theories to emerge from a diverse range of studies in these lakes. Containing exciting new findings in the ecology, evolution and systematic studies of ancient lake biotas together with many suggested areas for future research, it will be essential reading for all those with a general interest in ecology, evolution and natural history. In this volume expert scientists present the latest results and perspectives from their research on the organisms of the ancient lakes. Diverse in its taxomic coverage and themes, and international in its authorship and coverage, Ancient Lakes will appeal to all biologists interested in evolution, ecology and biodiversity.