Dino Pet is a clear plastic dinosaur figure that houses living organisms called dinoflagellates that come from the ocean. The dinoflagellates photosynthesize during the day and glow blue at night when shaken. This is called bioluminescence and is a naturally occurring process seen in many sea creatures. The Dino Pet's instruction booklet provides more information on the science behind bioluminescence.
Fill your Dino Pet with the dinoflagellates, and place the Dino Pet in 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark in order to get the dinoflagellates on a consistent sleep-wake schedule. It might take a few days for the dinoflagellates to adhere to this schedule. At night, turn off the lights and give the Dino Pet a shake to watch the living creatures light up. You'll get the brightest glow on the first shake, but the light will diminish after continual shaking, so you can really only shake the Dino Pet about three times each night. However, as the weeks progress, the dinoflagellates will divide and increase in number so that the light will get brighter when you give your Dino Pet that first shake.
You'll also need to add Dino Food every four to six weeks to extend the life of your Dino Pet. You get one package of Dino Food with your Dino Pet, and additional packages can be purchased separately for $14.95.
Bioluminescence is really cool to see, and Dino Pet lets kids experience this scientific marvel first-hand. While the Dino Pet does light up when you shake it, the light only lasts for a few seconds before fading away, so you only get about five minutes of playtime with Dino Pet each night. This isn't so much a toy that kids can play with as it is something neat to keep out on display and use to introduce kids to scientific concepts.
Dino Pet is for ages 5 and up.
For younger kids, adults will need to be the ones to fill the Dino Pet with the dinoflagellates and food. Adults should also monitor how younger kids shake the Dino Pet because shaking too hard can kill the dinoflagellates.
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