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What is the ring of triangles around Kermit's neck?

Looking at pictures of frogs, I have been unable to find one that has similar markings. For example, take this picture of a typical frog:

enter image description here

Kermit, of course, has a signature ring of triangles around his neck:

enter image description here

So far I have been unable to find any credible evidence of what that ring is. No interviews with Jim Henson, for example.

One reason given is that ring hides a seam between the puppet's head and body: while this gives a why it is there, especially for a puppet built in the 1950s without modern technology, it does not explain what it is. Another is that Kermit started out as a lizard or nameless animal and later turned into a frog: however, would his appearance not be updated to match his species? Again, this theory does not explain what it is.

This thread on Reddit touches on the various theories and is a good, concise overview: however, it offers no credible evidence to back up any of the claims of what that ring is.

Why does Kermit the Frog have a ring of pointy flaps around his neck?

Note: if you follow the Wikipedia links for Kermit there are some articles that assert he was species-less at first with Henson quotes to back it up: however, upon becoming a frog I would expect his features to match that of a frog as close as one could expect a fictional anthropomorphized muppet to match. His original species is largely irrelevant to his frog features.

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I want to be very clear here: the title is what is around his neck, not why is it there (i.e. to hide the seam in the puppet). – Snowman Feb 26 at 23:02
3  
It always looked like a jester's collar to me. – Walt Feb 26 at 23:04
    
    
It appears to be an actual collar, rather than part of his person; henson.com/jimsredbook/2014/08/8201975 – user7812 Feb 26 at 23:26
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Why would you expect a Muppet frog to "match [the features] of a frog as close as one could expect"... I suppose you expect to see pigs with luxurious golden hair and hats on bears? Most Muppets have clothes... So does Kermie. – Catija Feb 27 at 0:07
up vote 27 down vote accepted

It's a... Collar. Like a Prince's or Jester's collar. It has nothing to do with being a frog actually, aside that it somehow made him look more frog like. Likely because it gives a nice separation between head and body. Otherwise he just looks like a lizard. Which he used to be.

enter image description hereenter image description here

But to Kermit, it's just a piece of clothes. From the Muppet's Wikia for the Collar.

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie cuts in to the end of an interview with Kermit on Last Call with Carson Daly with the frog saying "...and that's why I have this funny collar!"

In The Muppets episode "The Ex-Factor," Piggy tells Kermit he should get a plastic surgeon to tighten up his neck waddle stating "Your pointy jester collar ain't hiding anything."

From another episode, "Crystal Gayle", he says he feels naked when it gets stolen:
enter image description here

Further more:

With the exception of Constantine and various other Kermit impersonators, no other Muppet Frogs sport a pointed collar like Kermit.

From "The Frog Prince" were Kermit first wore his iconic pointed collar. Notice all the other frogs are collar-less. Kermit is the only non-nudist in a nudist colony of frogs it seems: enter image description here

From it's Royal origins of a Frog Prince, it's more like Shakespeare's collar than anything else.

enter image description here

Personally, it inspires images of a lily pad or water lily.

enter image description here

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2  
The image from episode 402 here might be useful. Episode guide here. – Catija Feb 27 at 0:16
    
@Catija nice. thanks. – cde Feb 27 at 0:26
    
Personally, it evokes an image of a lily pad which frogs will sit on. Perhaps that is why it makes him look frog-like despite no real frog having such a thing? – Snowman Feb 27 at 2:00
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I think the key piece of evidence here is that it can be "stolen," implying it is not physically part of his body. That provides a very strong argument for your assertion that it is simply a collar. Assuming nobody posts another answer with equal or stronger evidence to back it up, I will accept this answer in a day or two. – Snowman Feb 27 at 2:02
1  
@Snowman Not sure whether that's a good indication since it is also possible to steal the nose of little kids although being a physically part of their body. – scai Feb 27 at 9:28

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