SWITZERLAND

The Swiss government has banned the practice of dropping live lobsters into boiling water, claiming the crustaceans can feel pain—a still debated conclusion. Cooks are now asked to stun the animals first.

KAZAKHSTAN

More than 200,000 critically endangered saiga antelope mysteriously died over a three-week span in 2015. Scientists now think this was caused by a bacterium that flourished because of a warmer, wetter spring and poisoned the animals' blood.

MEXICO

An unknown disease that wiped out 45 percent of native people in 16th-century New Spain (modern Mexico) might have been a type of Salmonella, a new study suggests. The bacterium may have been brought by Europeans colonizing the Americas.

AUSTRALIA

Researchers found that the rocks around Georgetown in northeastern Australia are very similar to rocks in Canada. This discovery provides the first strong evidence that a piece of land from North America latched onto the Australian mainland 1.7 billion years ago.

ALGERIA

Satellites captured images of up to 15 inches of snow covering the edge of the Sahara Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth. This much snow has been recorded there only two other times in the past 37 years.

ANTARCTICA

A global campaign has proposed creating the world's largest wildlife reserve around Antarctica—an area five times the size of Germany. Backers hope this measure will curb krill fishing, which diminishes a food source for larger animals.