Dino Pet: A Living Bioluminescent Pet
Dino-shaped aquarium for glow-in-the-dark plankton.
Part art, part pet, and part science project, Dino Pet is completely awesome.
Shaped like an apatosaurus, the plastic aquarium is home to a school of bioluminescent plankton called Dinoflagellates. When the sun goes down, the dinoflagellates light up the night when you give them a gentle shake.
Simply pour the pouch of dinoflagellates and water into the shell, give them indirect sunlight during the day, and enjoy the glowing blue-green spectacle in the evening.
Due to the living nature of this product, dinoflagellates are shipped separately (directly from manufacturer) at no additional cost. Simply redeem the included voucher at your convenience.
Currently, the Dino Pet can only ship within the US.
Features & specs
- Polycarbonate transparent shell shaped like an apatosaurus
- Dinoflagellates glow in the dark when lightly shaken
- Includes shell, care and instruction book, and voucher for dinoflagellates delivered to your door
- Dinoflagellates ship separately (at no additional cost)
- Approximate size: 6” x 3” x 6” (15.24 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.24 cm)
- Dino Pet can only ship within the US
Watch our Dino Pet video
Meet your new pet.
The Dino Pet is both a toy and a pet. The dinosaur-shaped aquarium is home to living bioluminescent plankton. When you play with (read: shake) them, the plankton will glow using stored energy they absorbed through photosynthesis during the day. The spectacle is a sight to behold, making the Dino Pet a truly unique gift.
A dinosaur aquarium filled with dinoflagellates
Dino-what? Dinoflagellates are unicellular protists from the phylum Dinoflagellata. The tiny creatures live in salt water and capture energy from the sun using photosynthesis. In addition to using this energy for normal life processes, the phytoplankton can glow in the dark when shaken up!
Ordinarily, dinoflagellates can be seen in waves crashing on the shore of some beaches. These dinoflagellates are right at home inside the dinosaur shaped Dino Pet for you to admire.
Shine with the stars
Dinoflagellates are living creatures with a circadian rhythm. During the day, they use the rays from the sun (or a nearby lamp) to store chemical energy inside their microscopic bodies. At night, they bioluminesce when they’re disturbed. Give your Dino Pet a gentle shake and watch the glowing show!
Normally, mailing a pet is a bad idea.
When you open the Dino Pet box, you’ll find the polycarbonate tank (shaped like an apatosaurus), care instruction book, and a voucher for your dinoflagellates and their food, which will ship separately free of charge.
Question: What is in the separately shipped dinoflagellate pouch?
Answer: The voucher that comes with your box will send two pouches your way. You’ll get a pouch filled with salt water and dinoflagellates and a separate pouch filled with nutrients to sustain your new pets.
Question: Why do the dinoflagellates come separately?
Answer: Dinoflagellates are living creatures that need to be shipped directly from their point of origin to your house in order to limit the amount of time they spend in the pouch, since they require specific conditions to thrive.
Question: Are dinoflagellates dinosaurs?
Answer: No, while they are a similar name, dinoflagellates are not dinosaurs. They’re flagellate protists with a special talent for glowing in the dark. While we don’t know of any dinosaurs with that capability, your dinoflagellates will live in an aquarium shaped like an apatosaurus.
Question: Is a Dino Pet a single organism?
Answer: No, the Dino Pet is a polycarbonate tank designed to house a whole school of phytoplankton.
Question: How does the Dino Pet glow?
Answer: Dinoflagellates bioluminesce when they are mechanically stimulated (shaken up). A gentle shake isn’t harmful to them, since they’re accustomed to the waves of the ocean. Their bioluminescence is a chemical reaction that occurs only at night. Each individual dinoflagellate emits blue-green light for only a fraction of a second, which collectively gives them a stunning shimmering appearance. Biologists think the bioluminescence startles predators that want to eat them and also attracts even bigger predators higher up the food chain.
Question: How do I care for my dinoflagellates?
Answer: Your Dino Pet should be kept at room temperature in indirect sunlight. The dinoflagellates have a natural circadian rhythm that requires a daytime period to photosynthesize light into chemical energy, which they release at night by emitting light. More detailed care information is available in the included instruction book.
Question: What kind of dinoflagellates are these?
Answer: The dinoflagellates in the Dino Pet are a marine species called Pyrocystis fusiformis. Each dinoflagellate is about 1mm long.
Question: What is the lifecycle of a Dino Pet?
Answer: Individual dinoflagellates divide every 7-14 days. With proper care, the culture of dinoflagellates can live on nothing but indirect sunlight for 1-3 months. To maintain a healthy dinoflagellate culture, you can continue to add Dino Food to your Dino Pet as needed.
Question: Isn’t it cruel to shake living creatures for your own amusement?
Answer: Dinoflagellates naturally live in the ocean and are used to the tumultuous environment with crashing waves. Beyond that, dinoflagellates are not animals; they’re photosynthetic plankton without brains, nerves, or pain receptors.
Question: Can I drink them?
Answer: Do not drink from your Dino Pet. The dinoflagellates are nontoxic, but they live in salt water, which will probably upset your stomach. Plus, come on man!
Question: What are the details on the shell?
Answer: The outer shell of Dino Pet is made from transparent ABS plastic. The opening to fill your Dino Pet is located on its belly.
Where can I buy this awesomeness?
Burning Questions: You Ask, We Answer
Want to ask your own Burning Question?
This product is no longer available for purchase directly from Vat19. Therefore, we are no longer accepting new burning questions at this time. Sorry!