There are few achievements of modern man which can compare to the Suez Canal. In Egypt-the land of the most famous wonders of antiquity-the Suez Canal was built as the first technical wonder ofthe industrial revolution. Ferdinand de Lesseps was a man straddling two epochs-the romantic utopism of Saint Simon and the modern world of technocracy. The gigantic project was at its start shouldered by the crowds of tens of thousands of forced laborers still available and ended as a show-piece for modern mechanical earth-moving techniques. The canal builders themselves were still polyhistors in the old sense: engineers cum-zoologists; naval officers-cum-geologists; diplomats meddling with chem istry. During the four generations of the existence of the Suez Canal, the fateful professional narrowmindedness became progressively worse. The engineers con tinued their work in and around the Canal, but they became oblivious and unresponsive to the environmental impact, to the fascinating changes in the biotic scenery which they were producing with their own hands.
Conspectus.- Conspectus.- 1. “Lessepsian Migration”.- 2. The Structure of the Book.- 3. A Preamble to the Conclusions.- Dynamic Zoogeography.- 1. The Historical Background.- 1.1 The Tethys and the Origins of the South West Asiatic Barrier.- 1.2 The Pleistocene of the Eastern Mediterranean.- 1.3 The Pleistocene of the Red Sea.- 1.4 The Pleistocene and Postpleistocene History of the Isthmus of Suez.- 1.5 The Problem of the Pre-Lessepsian Migrants Through the Isthmus of Suez.- 1.6 The Sirbonic Lagoon (Sabkhat el Bardawil).- 2. The Suez Canal.- 2.1 The Building of the Canal, Its Physical Features.- 2.2 History of Research.- 2.3 The Hydrography of the Suez Canal.- 2.4 The Bottom of the Suez Canal.- 2.5 The Biota of the Suez Canal.- 2.6 History of the Population of the Canal.- 2.7 Species Diversity in the Suez Canal.- 2.8 Reproduction and Sizes of Animals in the Suez Canal.- 2.9 The Metahaline Environments of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.- 3. The Migrant Biota.- 3.1 What is a Lessepsian Migrant?.- 3.2 The Levant Basin of the Mediterranean.- 3.3 The Levant Shore—the Core Area of the Lessepsian Immigration.- 3.4 The Analysis of Lessepsian Migration—Methodology.- 3.5 Time-Distance Analysis.- 3.6 The Diversity of Lessepsian Migrants.- 3.7 Analysis of the Colonizing Success of Lessepsian Migrants.- 3.8 Zoogeographical Consequences and the Future of Lessepsian Migration.- 3.9 Faunal Movements from the Mediterranean into the Red Sea-Anti-Lessepsian Migration.- 3.10 The Model of Lessepsian Migration and Other Inter-Oceanic Contacts.- Plates.- Taxonomic Index.- Subject and Geographical Index.