Marine Invertebrate Evolution in the Galapagos Islands MATTHEW J. JAMES 1. Perspective of This Volume ...1 2. Directions for Future Research ...2 3. Plan of This Volume ...2 1. Perspective of This Volume Charles Darwin brought the Galapagos Islands to the attention of zoologists, botanists, and geologists following the six-week visit of H. M. S. Beagle to the islands in 1835. Since then published research on the biota of the islands, partic- ularly in multiauthored volumes, has focused on terrestrial plants and animals. The present volume is designed specifically to provide a summary of work on the marine invertebrate fauna. One deviation from that objective was the inclusion of a chapter on land snails, which proved to be a good choice because the phylum Mollusca is now covered more thoroughly in this volume than in any single previous scholarly work on the Galapagos. The academic bottom line with this book is to elucidate the evolutionary responses of shallow water, benthic marine invertebrates to the unique set of insular conditions that exist in the Galapagos Islands.The route taken to that objective has many paths including taxonomic revision, determining biogeo- graphic affinities, and examining the ecological requirements of species. The information presented here is for some groups from the islands the first stage in a thorough process that can eventually lead to an understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of these species.