Mountain Lions Paw Prints Have Four Toes

Cats’ paw prints have a central pad and four toe pads. So why do so many Penn State logo items have a five-toed paw print? After a recent visit to State College, the Nittany Turkey sought an answer to this important question.

Five-Toed PawIf every time you look at that damn five-toed paw, you get the feeling that something unnatural has happened, you’re not alone. During Michigan weekend I spotted both four- and five-toed paw prints. The five-toed paw was disconcerting and annoying. I even saw face painters carefully painting five-toe prints on people’s faces. It’s a pervasive conspiracy!

Could the Nittany Lion have strayed too close to Three-Mile Island, spawning offspring with an extra toe? Or are Penn State’s marketing people just so stupid that they think cats actually have five toes in front?

This Turkey, whose footprints no one wants, was impelled to research this perversion of nature, eventually finding a reasonable explanation in an issue of The Daily Collegian published back in September, 2005. The article was entitled History of the paw: The truth behind a popular Penn State symbol is revealed. Read it if you’re interested in the story of this abomination and help stamp out the five-toed lion!


  1. 2theLion says

    Yes, the legend of the 5 toed paw evolved for nearly 20 years. It’s been a thorn in the paw of many a PSU fan. I have a life long friend who worked in one of the bookstores when we were in high school, so we learned the “story” early; I would often check in to assess the progress on the development of a “proper paw”. I, personally, would not purchase anything with the 5 toes – so when Lions Pride (and, Moyers Jewelers, btw) came out with the 4 toed paw motif – about 2 – 3 years ago – I was (nearly) first in line to fill the paw print void in my PSU collectibles collection.

  2. says

    The Turkey wishes that more PSU fans would stand behind anatomical correctness as you have, 2theLion. My chipmunk themed PSU cap is off to you!

    Stamp out anatomically incorrect paw prints!!


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