George Poinar Jr., an insect specialist at Oregon State University College of Science, is peering through a microscope at a 30-million year-old piece of amber. Then he spots something really special, and it’s entirely unknown to entomology, the study of insects. The expert then comes up with a name for these miniscule bugs that have been trapped in amber for all that time: mold pigs.
In fact, the name Poinar comes up with initially is a Latin one, as is customary in life sciences. That name is Sialomorpha dominicana. Although the term is Latin, the words come from the ancient Greek sialos meaning fat hog and morphe, meaning shape. The word dominicana, meanwhile, tells us that this piece of amber was discovered in the Dominican Republic.