Quick quiz: What’s better company than a plastic dinosaur, less trouble than a puppy, and more fun to watch than a fish?
A Venus flytrap. It’s the perfect gift for that certain child who likes to push limits. (As far as role models go, you think it’s any worse than a remote-control car?)
Delicate, green trap hairs twitch menacingly when fingers brush by. Add a cockroach, fly, or gnat and the plot thickens: The unsuspecting insect is drawn to the plant’s sweet spot, the trapdoor shuts, the bug becomes dinner, and — yes! — the underdog plant kingdom wins again.
Native to North Carolina, the three-inch flytraps arrive potted, with clear plastic covers. They need daylight, warm, moist air, and one live insect a month. (Suitable prey are easy to buy at the local pet shop when Junior tires of chasing them down.)
The hard part is the waiting, waiting, waiting between meals. But sometimes a “burp” breaks the tedium: The trap opens a crack, and a wispy, indigestible exoskeleton is flung out.
Oh, how cute.
Available online at evolutionnyc.com.