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Elastic Cartilage Cartilage is a special form of connective tissue and supplies the fabric for the formation of bone Bone forms by ossification This is when minute crystals of calcium salts are manufactured by osteoblast cells are arranged in layers to produce bone Adult cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves but is filled with small holes to allow nutrition to seep into it There are three different types of cartilage Elastic cartilage is mainly densely packed cells to give it the kind of springiness found in the ear Fibrocartilage is tough and contains many more collagen fibers For example the intervertebral disc of the spine has a thick circle of fibro-cartilage around the softer center of dense connective tissue which is know as the nucleus pulposus The third type is hard hyaline cartilage Hyaline cartilage is found at the bone ends as well is in the nose It is made of dense collagen fibers Elastic cartilage is found few places in the body According to Clayman elastic cartilage is the semiflexible elastic structure that allows for vibration in the epiglottis and the cartilages of the larynx that anchor the vocal chords One of these places is the epiglottis The epiglottis is a barrier which is usually found resting firmly above the top of the breathing tube When food approaches the area the epiglottis will clamp down tightly over the path of the lungs ensuring that the food is not able to pass through this by mistake The chewed and saliva soaked food passes the epiglottis in two streams rejoining just below it to continue on towards the stomach Occasionally a bit of food trickles past the epiglottis into the channel but does not travel far down the tube There is a second clamping of two folds over the vocal chords to ensure that food does not reach the lungs This switching of barriers is what causes the phenomena known as the
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