Washington became the first state to allow human bodies to be composted. The process, which turns a body into soil over several weeks, is seen by some as a greener alternative to cremation or burial.


The country's government lifted a five-year-old ban on hunting elephants for sport, after a committee found a “negative impact of the hunting suspension on livelihoods.”


Billion-year-old fungi have been found in the Canadian Arctic with the use of radioactive dating techniques. Previously the oldest known fungus fossils dated back to fewer than 500 million years ago.


Scientists unearthed a fossil in 2017, in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, of a bat-winged dinosaur that lived 163 million years ago. The size of a small bird, Ambopteryx longibrachium had membranous wings very different from those of other feathered dinosaurs.


In what some experts view as a setback for climate change action, Australians voted to retain Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his right-wing Liberal-National coalition. The opposition Labor party had pledged, if elected, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.


Seafloor mapping revealed the largest underwater eruption ever observed, at a submarine volcano between continental Africa and Madagascar. Starting last year, it created a mound towering 800 meters above the seabed in just six months, researchers say.