The key difference between elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage is that elastic cartilage is yellowish in colour and is the least common type of cartilage while hyaline cartilage has a glassy appearance and is the most common type of cartilage.
Cartilage is a connective tissue present in many places of our body, especially in the joints. It is a soft and flexible structure than a bone. Cartilages carry out several vital functions in our body. Cartilages support the body and provide attachment sites for muscles. They also reduce the friction between joints and provide flexibility. There are three types of cartilages as fibrocartilage, hyaline cartilage and elastic cartilage. Elastic cartilage is the least common type of cartilage in the body. It is also known as yellow cartilage due to its yellowish appearance. Hyaline cartilage is the weakest cartilage and the most common type of cartilage in the body.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Elastic Cartilage
3. What is Hyaline Cartilage
4. Similarities Between Elastic Cartilage and Hyaline Cartilage
5. Side by Side Comparison – Elastic Cartilage vs Hyaline Cartilage in Tabular Form
What is Elastic Cartilage?
Elastic cartilage is the least common type of cartilage present in our body. It is also known as yellow cartilage since it is yellow in colour. It contains elastic fibre networks and collagen fibres. Elastin is the principal protein in elastic cartilage. Elastic cartilage shows a greater elasticity. Moreover, it can withstand repeated bending.
Elastic cartilages are found in the epiglottis (part of the larynx) and the pinnae (the external ear flaps of many mammals, including humans).
What is Hyaline Cartilage?
Hyaline cartilage is the weakest type of cartilage. However, it is also the most widespread type of cartilage. It has a milky white glassy appearance. Furthermore, hyaline cartilage has few collagen fibres that are type II. They also have perichondrium (fibrous membrane).
Hyaline cartilages occur in many areas of our body such as in the articular surfaces of long bones, the rib tips, the rings of the trachea, and parts of the skull, etc. In comparison to elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage is less flexible.
What are the Similarities Between Elastic Cartilage and Hyaline Cartilage?
- Elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage are two of the three types of cartilages.
- Both do not contain nerves or blood vessels.
- They are flexible.
- Both contain collagen fibres.
What is the Difference Between Elastic Cartilage and Hyaline Cartilage?
Elastic cartilage is the least common type of cartilage and is yellow in colour. In contrast, hyaline cartilage is the most abundant type of cartilage and is milky white in colour. So, this is the key difference between elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage. Elastic cartilages are found in the external ear, epiglottis and the larynx while hyaline cartilages are found on the ribs, nose, larynx and trachea.
Moreover, another significant difference between elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage is their flexibility. Elastic cartilage is more flexible than hyaline cartilage.
Below infographic tabulates more differences between elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage.
Summary – Elastic Cartilage vs Hyaline Cartilage
Hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage, and elastic cartilage are the three major types of cartilages. Elastic cartilage is least common and found mainly in the external ear, larynx and epiglottis. The matrix of elastic cartilage is pale yellow due to the abundance of elastin fibres. Moreover, elastin cartilage is more flexible than hyaline cartilage. Hyaline cartilage is the most common type of cartilage found at the ends of bones in free-moving joints as articular cartilage, at the ends of the ribs, and in the nose, larynx, trachea, and bronchi. It is very resilient and milky white glassy in appearance. Thus, this summarizes the difference between elastic cartilage and hyaline cartilage.
1. “Connective Tissue Elastic Cartilage (41855667361)” By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library – Connective Tissue: Elastic Cartilage (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Hyaline cartilage” By Brittany (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr