A type of connective tissue made up of varying amounts of the gellike substance collagen. Cartilage forms an important structural component of various parts of the skeletal system, including the joints. There are 3 main types. Hyaline cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that lines the surfaces of joints. Fibrocartilage is solid and strong and makes up the intervertebral discs that are situated between the bones of the spine and the shock-absorbing pads in joints. Elastic cartilage is soft and rubbery and found in structures such as the outer ear and the epiglottis.


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