Answered By: Gabe Gossett Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016 Views: 4691
Fun question. As it turns out, according to the book Mammalogy, mammals are required to also have three middle ear bones, a neocortex (and therefore a brain), plus mammary glands. They even have to have a sense of smell, skeleton, and other elements missing in the typical coconut. This leaves the poor Cocos nucifera, despite its shaggy appearance and quasi-milk, out of the running to be a mammal. But the good news is that it still has the distinction of being the largest seed in the world, if you include "sea coconuts."
- The "milk" in coconuts is actually coconut water which serves as the nutrition for the seed. As the coconut ripens more and more of the water solidifies into the coconut "meat". And the air on the coconut is just the last fibers of the husk after it has been stripped off.
So to answer your question: Coconuts are classified as coconuts and not as mammals because mammals are animals, whereas the coconut is a plant. Mammals have milk and hair, true. Coconuts don't.