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This week’s best science news

by News Room
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In this section, the editors recommend each week what were the best or most interesting articles on the site. This time: elephants with names, the history of the Boeing 747, the wreck of Shackleton’s last ship.

The Boeing 747 was a great case in point

Boeing 747
KLM’s Boeing 747-400. © Kok Vermeuelen, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

KLM has not flown Boeing 747-400 passenger planes since 2021. The dismantling of the last aircraft that said goodbye to the airline has now begun. Valuable parts are reused as much as possible. The subsidiary Martinair/KLM Cargo still flies cargo 747s, but they too will be retired in 2026.

Although a few other airlines still fly the Boeing 747, the end of this legendary aircraft is fast approaching. That’s why we look back at how this stopgap aircraft revolutionized aviation.

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World famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s last ship found

Sonar QuestSonar Quest
Echocardiogram showing Quest. The ship is located in the Labrador Sea off the coast of Canada. Photo: Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton died in 1922 on his ship “Quest” of a heart attack when he was 47 years old. The ship served for another 40 years with different owners until it sank in 1962. Wreck hunters have now found the wreck off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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African elephants call each other by name

elephants with tangled trunkselephants with tangled trunks
Photo: George Wittemyer.

If you want to get someone’s attention, “hey you there” is much more ambiguous than “hey John.” Even the elephants seem to know it. Scientists write in a journal Nature ecology and evolution that is, that elephants use names. This makes them the only animal species – besides humans – to do so.

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