If you were an animal, which animal would you be? Don't deny it—you loved playing this endlessly hilarious game in middle school, on field trips and team buses. You spent hours figuring out which gigantic, mane-haired football player would be a lion, which dark-haired, bookish girl would be a mouse, which beady-eyed clown would be a parrot, which long-legged ballet dancer would be a gazelle and which scrunchy-faced kid would be a pitbull.

So go on, take a walk down memory lane. Play the adult version of "which animal would you be," and help protect a species in the process. These organizations offer species adoption as a creative way to donate or give gifts in the name of biodiversity, and a totally legitimate excuse to act like a tween again:

1. Smithsonian, National Zoo in DC: Are you a Nile hippopotamus sort of person, or more of a goliath bird-eating tarantula type? Or perhaps you feel a special kinship with the Burmese python or the Cuban crocodile?

2.World Animal Foundation: Lions and tigers and bears. And also manatees, lemurs, Komodo dragons and orca whales. WAF will send you a photo and lots of info about your adopted species.

3.World Wildlife Fund: Did you know that the toucan, whose rain forest habitat is at increasing risk because of deforestation, is a social bird but really bad at flying? How embarrassing. Or that zebras recognize each other by stripe patterns that are unique to each individual? Or that a walrus can dive up to 300 feet into the ocean?

4.Environmental Defense, Endangered Species Back from the Brink program: Are you a delmarva fox squirrel? A northern aplomado falcon? A Utah prairie dog? Hawaiian goose? Imagine the possibilities...

This article originally appeared in Plenty in May 2007. The story was added to MNN.com in July 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2007.

'Adopt' an endangered animal and make a difference
If you love animals, you can "adopt" one to help save it from endangerment or extinction. You may not get to cuddle it, but you'll still feel warm and fuzzy.