Origin of Coconuts: Coconut Tree History

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The Coconut Tree or Palm grows on sandy, saline soils and prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall. Thus, it generally thrives near beaches - in lowland, tropical and subtropical habitats. However, because of the abundance of the Coconut Palm around the world, finding a definitive proof of its origin has been difficult.

Until now, the Origins of Coconut Palm is the subject of debate. This is because fossil coconuts have been found as far apart as India and New Zealand. Some authorities say that the Coconut Palm first came from the Southeast Asian peninsula, while others claim that its origin is in northwestern South America. A more recent theory is that it originated in the South Pacific (Polynesia).

Still, the Coconut Palm could have come from almost any place along the coastlines, at any point in history. This is because the widespread of the Coconut Palm could be attributed to two things: human dispersal and natural dispersal. Human Dispersal of Coconuts (the fruit or seed) was most likely aided by sea-faring people. The Natural Dispersal of the Coconut Palm happened when the Coconuts were carried out by the ocean from shore to shore. Coconuts, due to their very thick but light and buoyant shells, float extremely well and can travel long distances for several months on sea-water (a killer to most seeds).

Thus, it's easy to see how Coconut Palms have spread across tropical shorelines.

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