This tongue-in-cheek hashtag is spreading knowledge and delight on social media.

Every once in a while, a hashtag comes along that is so pure and delightful, you wonder how you survived on the internet without it.

#RateASpecies is that hashtag.

It's a tongue-in-cheek hashtag that zoos, aquariums, and wildlife centers have been using to write humorous Amazon-style "reviews" of different animals. It's a silly, carefree way to learn real facts about the amazing creatures around us.


And in the vein of Dog Rates, every animal receives four stars because every animal is pretty much perfect. Trust and believe — this is koala-ty content.

Here are some of the animals coming out on top, including a few endangered, vulnerable, and otherwise surprising species.

1. Am I the last person to learn of tree kangaroos? And, if so, why didn't any of you tell me about these delightful but vulnerable creatures?

2. The tree kangaroo is not to be confused with this cuddly cutie: the red panda.

Bonus points to Minnesota Zoo for the excellent wordplay.

3. If you give a hoot about owls (and you should), consider doing something about light pollution.

4. This big cat is a gentle giant most of the day. I'm not lion.

5. Don't be alarmed. This is a mola mola, not a swimming nightmare come to life.

And if you stare long enough, it's actually kind of cute.

6. Because even creepy-crawlies deserve love. Four stars (and four terrifying screams) for your local scorpion.

7. If super floofs are more your scene, look no further than the snow leopard.

8. Or better yet, this seafaring floof: the penguin.

9. If you need something that hauls, climbs, and rests like no other, maybe a bear is more your speed.

10. This well-dressed epaulette shark has a unique look that can go from day to night.

And from water to land. Seriously!

11. I don't know how this made the list. This list is for animals — not very happy plant life!

12. Now jellyfish. This is more like it. Did you know they're 95% water?

13. Finally, an animal that's Instagram ready.

14. "Bats off" to these late-night party animals.

I'm so sorry about that attempt at wordplay. I will never be the Minnesota Zoo, and I recognize that now.

15. Nothing but respect for my predator.

Even after some ice cold seals left a pretty damning review.

16. Have you ever seen an unhappy bonobo? Probably not. And you probably never will.

17. Ain't no party like a lake sturgeon party cuz a lake sturgeon party has been going on for 150 million years.

Did your favorite fauna not make the cut? Join the party, and rate it yourself.

Because every now and then, it's possible to find pure, unadulterated delight on the internet. And if you can learn a few things along the way, it's as close to a four-star experience as you can get.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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