Biology

Skeletal material: Cartilage and its functions

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 21st December, 2019 @ 10:26 PM

Topics in Biology

Tropical savanna explained with its characteristics Ecological pyramid explained with its importance and limitations Hindbrain: Medulla Oblongata and its features Food web explained with examples Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 2nd Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 3rd Term Male accessory sex organs: Seminal vesicles and bulbourethral glands Scrotum and its contents: Testicles Brain: Introduction to the human brain Forebrain: Lobes of the cerebrum and their functions Cerebellum: Parts and functions of the cerebellum Midbrain: Division and functions of the midbrain Negative feedback mechanism in homeostasis Arterial disorders explained with their causes Types of desert and their characteristics Characteristics of tropical rainforest Swamp forest: What are swamp forests? Characteristics of swamp forests Savanna biome: Concept of the savanna


Academic Questions in Biology

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

In a food chain, the primary consumers are classified under trophic level  _____.

  • A. Zero

  • B. One

  • C. Two

  • D. Three

  • E. Four

  • F. Five

Cold blooded animals are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homeotherms

  • B. Endotherms

  • C. Poilokitherms

  • D. Ectotherms

  • E. Thermotherms

  • F. None of the above

All reptiles are vertebrates.

  • A. True

  • B. False

_____ cells are responsible for the formation of osteoblasts.

  • A. Osteocytes
  • B. Chondrocytes
  • C. Chondroblasts
  • D. Osteoclasts
  • E. Osteoprogenitor cells
  • F. Osteoblastic

_____ is a bone that constitute the axial skeleton.

  • A. Clavicle
  • B. Scapula
  • C. Patella
  • D. Radius
  • E. Sternum
  • F. Femur

Which of the following is false concerning cartilages and bones?

  • A. Cartilage does not have a direct blood supply while bones have direct blood supply
  • B. The process of ossification replaces a cartilage to bone
  • C. The protein that makes up cartilage is called chondrin while that that makes up bone is called ossein
  • D. Cartilage grows from both ends while bones grow from one of its epiphysis
  • E. They both have living cells within them
  • F. Haversian system is absent in cartilage but present in bones

A diagram showing the movement of energy through a food chain is called a _____.

  • A. Food Chain
  • B. Food Web
  • C. Food Energy
  • D. Food Link
  • E. Food Flow
  • F. Food Pyramid

Which of the following is NOT a part of the wrist bones (or carpal bones)?

  • A. Cuboid
  • B. Scaphoid
  • C. Hamate
  • D. Triquetral
  • E. Pisiform
  • F. Trapezium


What is skeletal material?

The term 'sketetal material' isn't the same as 'types of skeleton'. A skeletal material is defined as the kind of material in which the skeleton is composed of. As an instance, the human skeleton is composed of bones and cartilages as its skeletal material. However, understand that chitin is a type of skeletal material found in insects.

Please read on bone and bone cells here.

Please read more on chitin as a skeletal material here.


The skeleton of some complex vertebrates are composed entirely of cartilage as its material. Cartilaginous fishes like sharks, skates, stingrays and rays are examples of animals that have cartilage as their entire skeletal material.

Note: The skeleton of bony fishes is composed entirely of bone.


Cartilage consists of living cells called chondroblasts. Meanwhile, minerals like calcium, phosphates and collagen fibres may be absent in cartilages.

It is the calcium present in bone cells that gives the bone its great strength.

You can read on sources, functions and deficiencies of macronutrients here.


Cartilage in humans

At an organizational level of life, the cartilages (and even bones) exist as tissues. In fact, the cartilage is a tough and flexible tissue. This mix of toughness and flexibility in cartilages play an important role in a fetus. A fetus (or foetus) is a developing child in the womb.

The skeleton of a fetus is composed mainly of cartilage, most of which will ossify (become bone) as the fetus come of age.

It is noteworthy to state that cartilages do not have a direct blood supply in humans.

Please read on red blood cells and hemoglobin here.


Most animals including humans will usually have cartilage alongside bone as their skeletal material. In this case, the cartilages will act as a shock absorber, cushioning the effects of bones moving against bones during locomotion.

Please read on the 206 bones in the human body here.

Cartilages are always seen where two long bones meet or articulate. For this reason, they are often referred to as an articular cartilage. Cartilages are also present where we have other types of bone.

Please read on the type and classification of bones here.

An articular cartilage is defined as a smooth white tissue that covers the ends of bones where a joint is formed.

Below is the image an articular cartilage seen between two long bones:

Cartilage between Long Bones - Len Academy

Recall that a joint is formed where two bones meet or articulate.


Mammals generally have 3 types of cartilages. These are:

  1. Hyaline cartilage
  2. Fibrocartilage
  3. Elastic cartilage

Please read on the types of cartilages here.


Functions of cartilage in humans

  1. They provide support for the developing fetus.
  2. They act as a template for the formation of bone via a process called ossification.
  3. They prevent the wear and tear of bones through their fine articular surface.
    You can read on the skeleton and it's functions here here.
  4. They play an important part in the repair of bones.
  5. They allow for easy movement of bones through the lubrication action of synovial fluid. You can think of synovial fluid as a liquid present around the surface of an articular cartilage.

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Amazing facts in Biology

Panda eating bamboo - Len Academy

99% of a panda's diet is bamboo. They may eat fish or other small animals occasionally

When attacked by insects, lima beans plant will often command parasitic wasps to their defence.

When the leaves of the lima bean's leaves are eaten by insects, the plant gives off a substance that signals parasitic wasps to swam in, destroying its enemies (the leaf-eating insects) in the process

Frogs drink water through their skin

Armadillos - Len Academy

Armadillos are western mammals known for their unique armor-like shell which are bulletproof

Polka-dotted zebra - Len Academy

Although zebras are known for their characteristics black and white stripes, we still have some polka-dotted zebras

Charles Darwin is a British naturalist and biologist who contributed greatly into the study of evolution. According to research, he frequently ate the animals he studied

Lungs are the only human organ that can float on water

Unlike most snakes that lay eggs, anacondas give birth to live babies

Shrimp - Len Academy

A shrimp's heart is in its head

Women have more pain receptors than men


NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology

For a thing to be considered living, it must possess all the basic characteristics of life. These include:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

Please read the explanations on all the basic characteristics of life here

During strenuous exercises like sprinting or running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.

This is the concept of anaerobic respiration

Food Chain - Len Academy

A food chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.

Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:

  • Terrestrial (Land)
  • Aquatic (Water)
  • Arboreal (Treetops)

You can read on food chain here

The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:

  • Bios: means life.

  • Logos: means knowledge or to study.

Biology can therefore be defined as the study of life

Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism). All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym -> MR. NIGER DAC.

You can read on the introduction to biology and the basic characteristics of life here

The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2

Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis.

Please read on photosynthesis here

It is noteworthy to state that plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere