If your bones are the VIPs of your body, then cartilage is the security detail. The tissue (more stretchy and supple than marrow) caps the ends of joints, like the one between the patella and tibia, absorbing force and preventing friction. But that’s just one of its purposes. In infants, hyaline cartilage, which is less elastic, serves as the stand-in for bone. Their skeletons only start to harden as they collect and produce more calcium through their diets—a process that can take 17 to 25 years in total. More mozzarella, Ma!