What child hasn’t dreamed of owning their own, glowing dinosaur? The Dino Pet from California-based company, Yonder Biology brings the best elements of childhood together in order to ignite curiosity about nature and teach responsibility. Made from polyethylene plastic, the dinosaur-shaped container houses dinoflagellate algae that bioluminesces at night. To care for a Dino Pet, an aspiring biologist need only place it in a lit room out of direct sunlight for ten to twelve hours a day. Dino food is added once every 1-3 months to keep the algae-filled animal bright and happy. All a child needs to do is gently shake their Dino to enjoy a fantastic light show in their own hands.
To encourage the next generation of earth stewards, Yonder Biology has developed a remarkable living toy.
“We aim to create an interactive toy that teaches kids that magic is found in understanding the world around you. To understand and to work with Nature is paramount to living more sustainably. Harnessing biology to produce energy, medicines and entertainment is the future,” they say.
They began by optimizing dinoflagellates in their lab, ensuring that they grew quickly, maintained a great density, and shone brightly. They cultivated the species Pyrocystis fusiformis, a marine algae that photosynthesizes during the day and glows at night. After experimenting with a number of shapes and sizes for a container, they settled on an apatosaurus.
The Dino Pet is non-toxic, and safe for the home in case of a spill. Proper care and feeding could potentially allow the toy to last forever, and Dino Food can be purchased through the Yonder Biology website. The overall design is simple and appealing enough to captivate a wide range of ages. A first step towards responsibility, it is a low-maintenance introduction to caring for bigger and more mobile creatures. The Dino Pet is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign and a pledge of $30 or more can secure you an early bird order of the world’s first glowing, living pet.
Images © Yonder Biology