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What College Mascots Look Like In Real Life

We've all seen the mascots during sporting events, but just how similar do these mascots look to the real thing?

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Texas Longhorns

Texas Longhorns are cattle with signature horns that can grow up to 7 feet. They are descendents of the first cattle brought to the New World to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola on a ship of Christopher Columbus. Spanish settlers continued to bring cattle to the New World in present-day Mexico between 1493 and 1512. The cattle moved north and eventually reached present-day Texas in the late 17th century. These cattle evolved into the longhorns we know today.

The University of Texas has a live mascot, Bevo, and a costumed one, Hook 'em. The university's original mascot was a pitbull, but in 1916, a live longhorn was first used. There have been 14 Bevos, and Bevo XIV was first introduced in 2004. Hook 'em can be seen on the sidelines of football and basketball games and was first seen in 1974.

Auburn/Missouri/Louisiana State/Clemson Tigers

Arguably one of the most common college mascots, tigers are the largest cat species and can be found mainly in southeast and eastern Asia. Unfortunately, with the prevalence of poaching and habitat destruction, tigers have become an endangered species.

Aubie, Auburn's tiger, has won eight mascot national championships — more than any other mascot. Aubie first appeared in October 1959 on a football program cover.

Truman the Tiger, Mizzou's mascot, was name after Missouri native President Harry S. Truman. Truman got his name in 1986, but the tiger mascot's origins can be traced back to the 1890s.

LSU's Mike the Tiger, alludes to Louisiana's confederate history. During the Civil War, Louisiana troops led by Robert E. Lee became known as the Tigers. LSU earned its Tiger nickname in 1896.

The Tiger at Clemson got its name in 1896 as well from football coach Walter Riggs, who admired the Princeton Tigers.

Michigan State Spartans

Spartans are from the ancient Greek city Sparta in the Pelopennesus. Known for its strong militarism, Sparta reached prominence in the fourth and fifth centuries BC.

Michigan State changed its team name from the Aggies to the Spartans in 1925. Sparty the mascot was introduced in 1989 and became an immediate hit.

South Carolina Gamecocks

A type of rooster that is used for fighting, a pastime that traces its roots back thousands of years. Today, cockfighting is illegal in the United States and many other parts of the world.

South Carolina's Cocky debuted in 1980 and eventually took the place of mascot Big Spur, a barnyard rooster. At the time of his debut, Cocky was booed by fans but later gained acceptance.

Oklahoma Sooners

Sooners is the name given to people who settled in what is now Oklahoma before the land was officially open to settlement in the late 1880s. Oklahoma eventually became known as the Sooner State.

Since 1980, the official mascot of the University of Oklahoma is the Sooner Schooners, but the schooner made its first debut in 1964. The schooner is a replica of a Conestoga wagon and is pulled by white ponies named Boomer and Sooner.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama's mascot is actually an elephant named Big Al. Elephants can be found in both Africa and Asia and are the world's largest terrestrial animals that are alive today. They are known for their large trunks, tusks and ears. Due to the poaching of elephants for their tusks along with habitat destruction, African elephants are considered vulnerable and Asian elephants are endangered.

Big Al originated in 1930 when a sportswriter wrote of a fan yelling that the "elephants were coming" when the team stormed onto the football field. An elephant mascot first appeared in the early 1960s, but Al made his debut when Alabama beat Penn State for the national championship in the 1979 Sugar Bowl.

Florida State Seminoles

The Seminole are a Native American group that were originally in Florida. Today, the majority of Seminoles live in Oklahoma, and a minority live in Florida.

Florida State's Seminole name was established in 1947 by a student vote to allude to the state's Seminole people. Today, FSU has two official mascots: Osceola, which pays tribute to the historic Seminole leader, and Renegade, an Appaloosa horse.

Oregon Ducks

Ducks can be found all over the world in both salt and fresh water. The word duck can be traced to the Old English word dūce, a derivative of dūcan, which means "to duck, bend down low as if to get under something or dive."

The Oregon Duck originated through a special license agreement with Disney in 1940 after early drawings began to resemble Donald Duck. Until 2010, Disney controlled the mascot and where it performed. In 2010, however, the university and Disney made an agreement allowing the duck to make more public appearances.

Stanford Cardinal

The Stanford Tree is based on El Palo Alto, a coast redwood tree, found in Palo Alto, California. It is 100 feet in height and more than 1,000 years old. It is considered California Historic Landmark No. 2.

The Stanford Cardinal is one of the only singular sports names and is named after the color. It does not have an official mascot, but its unofficial one is The Tree. Whoever wears the tree is a member of the Stanford Band. Each costume is self-designed and appears at major sporting events.

UCLA Bruins

A bruin, also known as a brown bear, can be found in Europe, Asia and North America. The species can weigh between 220 and 1,400 pounds and is the most widely distributed bear in the world. With a worldwide population of more than 200,000, the brown bear along with the American black bear is the only bear species that is not classified as threatened.

UCLA's Bruin was established in 1926, and the original mascots were live bears. The costumed mascots were first seen in the mid-1960s, and the official mascot Joe Bruin has remained. Joe can often be seen with his female counterpart, Josephine.

Louisville Cardinals

The northern cardinal is a songbird that is known by its distinctive crimson red color. It is the state bird of seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Cardinal Bird was created as Louisville's mascot in 1913 to honor the state bird of Kentucky. He is most known for skydiving into each of Louisville's home football games. The bird does not have an established name but is called Louie or C.B. by many.

Colorado Buffaloes

The American bison, also known as the American buffalo, was nearly driven to extinction in the 19th century due to widespread commercial hunting. They faced resurgence recently due to preservation efforts and the establishment of reserves and national parks. Only 15,000 bison remain in the wild, but more than 500,000 can be found in captive commercial populations.

The University of Colorado has both a live and costumed mascot. A live buffalo first appeared on the football field in 1934 and appeared at games sporadically for the next several decades. Ralphie the Buffalo made her first appearance in 1966 followed by Chip the costumed mascot.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio buckeye nut is found on the Ohio buckeye tree, which is Ohio's state tree and is found mainly in the Midwestern United States. The name came from Native Americans, who thought that the lighter center of the nut looked like the eye of a buck, or a male deer.

Brutus the Buckeye is a mascot whose head is meant to resemble the buckeye nut. When Ohio State mascots were discussed in 1965, the buck deer was originally considered. After the buckeye nut was agreed upon, the mascot was named Brutus after a campus-wide contest.

USC Trojans

During the Civil War, Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee's most famous horse was named Traveller. Lee obtained Traveller in 1862 and rode him in several prominent battles. Traveller outlived Lee by a few months.

The official mascot of USC is Traveler the Horse, named after General Lee's horse. Its rider is dressed as a Trojan but is unnamed and not an official mascot. Traveler was first introduced in fall of 1961.

Wisconsin Badgers

Badgers can be found all over the world and are nocturnal animals that can run between 16 and 19 mph. In North America, they are known to work together with coyotes when hunting.

A badger first appeared in University of Wisconsin publication in the 1930s. An actual badger was used in several football games in 1940 but proved to be too fierce to be controlled. In 1948, the name Bucky was established and has remained ever since despite suggestions to change the name.

Florida Gators

The American alligator is found in Southeastern United States and can be found in freshwater wetlands. It can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds and is the state reptile of Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. They consume fish, amphibians, mammals and other reptiles.

During the 1911 football season, the team began calling itself "The Gators." During the 1957 football season until 1970, a live gator named Albert was used during games. Albert was replaced by a costumed mascot of the same name in 1970, followed by its female counterpart, Alberta, in 1984.

Georgia Bulldogs

The English bulldog is a breed of dogs known for its folds of skin, droopy lips and underbite. Bulldogs are known to be friendly, calm and patient and good with children. The name "Bulldog" was first mentioned in the early 16th century.

Uga is a live bulldog that has been used at Georgia's football games since 1956. Uga got its name from the school's abbreviation, UGA. Nine dogs have been Uga, and each one was a descendent of the original. Hairy Dawg is the costumed mascot and made its first appearance during the 1981 Sugar Bowl.

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