Cartilage, the wonder of the human body.
30:18 “There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.
We could certainly add the human body to this list!
Did you know that we all started out with most of our bones being comprised of cartilage? It starts in the womb… (From, “A Pocket Guide to the Human Body,” pages 52-54)
Most bones in our body began as cartilage while we were still in the womb (cartilage is a rubbery-like material that gives the flexibility to our nose and ears). The advantage of cartilage over bone in the early stages of growth is that cartilage can grow from within as well as at its surface. Bone, on the other hand, can only grow by adding to its surface, much like the way we make a snowball grow to make a snowman.
During growth, cartilage is gradually replaced with bone by a process called endochondral ossification. First, calcium infiltrates the cartilage with calcium salts, forming a very brittle calcified cartilage. Then this temporary form of cartilage serves as a framework on which bone will form, much like applying plaster to chicken wire. In time, bone replaces the cartilage except at the ends, where cartilage is retained to form joints.
Tomorrow, we look at bone-makers and bone-breakers.
Abba, as we worship You together in our respective churches and houses, may we remember every time we stand, sit or kneel that You have made us by Your great power and in Your love. We love You, too, Abba. Amen.