DNA Tests on Coconuts Show They Have Been Used by Man for a Long Time

The mystery of coconuts is solved. This useful fruit has been used for centuries. Besides being a healthy food it can be used as a carrying container, made into charcoal, its fibre used to make rope and it will save your life if appropriately adapted as a flotation device.

DNA tests have been done on coconuts worldwide. They have been spread around so much by people transporting them in their travels that they are quite homogeneous by type. There are only two main kinds: one from the Indian Ocean region and the other from the Pacific. Tall types predominate. The dwarf coconut accounts for only 5 per cent of all coconuts.

Both types of coconuts are used for different purposes. The niu vai is the usual kind with sweet juice inside. Copra is obtained from the niu kafa. One mystery still remains. While their are two distinct types, Madagascar has a variety that is a combination of the Pacific and Indian Ocean types.
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