Key knowledge on the coconut palm and where to find the information.

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The "Modern" period (from 1968 to today) covers the time that the Coconut Time Line editor has been involved with the coconut palm but, more significantly, coincides with the decline of copra as the premier source of vegetable oil in international trade. Other on-line links for coconut

The "Agricultural" period (1926 to 1967) covers the time when all the straightforward agricultural research was done to increase copra production, beginning with the first scientific cross-pollination (in Fiji) and lasting until coconut's own "Green Revolution" (in Jamaica) where high density planting of disease resistant dwarf varieties also involved the proper use of fertilizers and herbicides.

The "Mercantile" period (1840 to 1925) spans the time when small trading schooners could collect copra or coconuts from the remotest Pacific island for onward shipment to Europe and North America to provide industrial raw materials, until over-production by plantations depressed the prices.

The "Nautical" period (1499 to 1839) is named for the period when Europeans first recognised the coconut's importance to wooden sailing ships, from providing uncontaminated drinking water to caulking leaks, until the 19th century iron steamships that didn't need caulking and could distil their own fresh water.

The "Ancient" period (before 1498) is a catch-all for the mostly unrecorded but highly significant and very long time that it took for coconut to evolve (originating in Gondwana), disseminate by floating (in the Tethys Sea), become domesticated (in an area of Southeast Asia now submerged) and then provision the earliest maritime emigrations (into the Pacific and Indian Oceans).

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[Borrowed, with thanks, from Bonkers Institute: Simple Science]