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(Attalea martiana, A. oleifera, or A. speciosa), tall palm tree with feathery leaves that grows wild in tropical northeastern Brazil. The kernels of its hard-shelled nuts are the source of babassu oil, similar in properties and uses to coconut oil and used increasingly as a substitute for it. Babassu oil is used as a food in cooking and as a fuel and a lubricant; the soap and cosmetic industries also take a major part of the oil produced. The press cake remaining after oil is extracted from the kernels is fed to animals