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Connective tissue in parts of the human skeleton. A network of collagen fibres in a firm, gelatinous base, it contains no blood vessels or nerves. Different types of cartilage are found at the ends of some bones and in nasal and respiratory structures; in the spinal disks; and in the ear and epiglottis (back of the throat). Most of the skeleton of an embryo is made of cartilage, which is later replaced by bone.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cartilage, visit Britannica.com.