Click the thumbnail to show this specimen stained with hematoxylin & eosin.
The epiglottis is a cartilaginous structure at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food or liquid from entering the trachea during swallowing.
Elastic cartilage is similar to hyaline cartilage except that the matrix also contains a dense network of branching and anastomosing elastic fibers. It provides flexible support and is present in the outer ear and epiglottis.
Elastic and hyaline cartilage have similar appearances when stained by H&E because elastic fibers are unstained. Compare with the next specimen stained with Verhoeff.