Dino Pet is the World’s First Bioluminescent Toy


Maybe you’ve heard of the coastal phenomenon that happens when the timing and conditions are just right and the waves glow as they hit the shore. The tiny animals that make the whitewash glow are called dinoflagellates, which are really just little single-celled organisms (mostly plankton) that move around like animals and photosynthesize like plants.

You can’t plan on encountering the effect, but if you happen to be out on the beach on the right night, the beautiful glowing waves are simply magical. The glow increases with physical agitation, so breaking waves, boat paddles, or even fingers can make them shine more brightly.

When the folks at Yonder Biology happened to be out on the beach in San Diego on just such a magical night, they had an idea. What if people could “grow” and care for their own bioluminescent pets?

Just like the glowing organisms in the water, the dinoflagellates inside of the Dino Pet (which is aptly shaped like a cute, modern apatosaurus) eat up all the indirect sunlight they can during the day, and glow brightly at night when you play with your pet.

Besides just being really cool in general, there are a few great reasons to get your family one of these nightlights as soon as humanly possible. They’re a natural and sustainable light source, for one. The design of the casing is beautiful, and the color is soothing. But most important of all is the lesson kids can glean from this cool toy. There are living things inside that need to eat sunlight to live and glow when you shake them? How cool is that? The world is a wondrous place.

Dean Sauer and Andy Bass of Yonder Biology have 26 days remaining on the Dino Pet Kickstarter Campaign, and so far have crossed the halfway mark of their progress toward the $50,000 goal. Backers who pledge $30 or more will be guaranteed their very own Dino Pet once the project is green lit.

Also available through the campaign are Dino Food (salt water and nutrients that should last around 6 months), a story book that helps kids learn to care for their pets, and other neat stuff like t-shirts and stickers.

If you feed them Dino food, the Dino Pets can live indefinitely. If you don’t, they’ll live anywhere from one to three months, but Yonder Biology will be happy to sell you replacement dinoflagellates if yours kick the bucket. This is a great starter pet for kids, since the more they care for their dino, the more it will glow.

HOW DO YOU CARE FOR YOUR DINO PET? from Yonder Biology // Andy Bass on Vimeo.

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