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8 Connective Tissues

  • Connective tissues are the most abundant tissues of complex animals.
  • All connective tissues except blood tend to secrete structural proteins called collagen or elastin.
  • There are different types of connective tissues like Loose Connective tissue, Dense Connective tissue, and Specialized Connective tissue.


  • The cells of connective tissue are living, separated from each other i.e. loosely spaced and low in number.
  • The cells of connective tissue are loosely spaced and embedded in an intercellular matrix.
  • The matrix may be jelly like, fluid, dense or rigid.
  • The space between cells is filled with a non-living matrix which may be solid as in bone and cartilage and fluid as in the blood.
  • Fibrous connective tissue is strong and is found in areas like ligaments, which basically connects bones to one another.

Types of Connective Tissue:

In animals, there are following five types of connective tissues:


  • Blood has a fluid (liquid) matrix called plasma, in which red blood corpuscles (RBCs), white blood corpuscles (WBCs) and platelets are suspended.  The plasma contains proteins, salts and hormones.


  • Blood flows and transports gases, digested food, hormones and waste materials to different parts of the body.


  • It forms the framework that supports the body.
  • It is a strong and nonflexible tissue. Bone cells are composed of calcium and phosphorus compounds.

Ligaments and Tendons:

  • Tendons connect muscles to bones. Tendons are fibrous tissue. They have great strength but limited flexibility.
  • Ligaments are elastic structures which connect bones to bones. This tissue is highly elastic. It has considerable strength.

Differences between tendon and ligament

Tendons Ligaments
Inelastic. Elastic.
Join muscles to bone.

Connect bones to bone.

Made up of white fibres. Made up of white as well as yellow fibres.


  • Cartilage has widely spaced cells. It is composed of proteins and sugars. Cartilage smoothens bone surfaces at joints.
  • Occurrence: They are present in the nose, ear, trachea and larynx.

Areolar or Loose Connective Tissue

  • It is the simplest and most widely distributed connective tissue.
  • It is found between the skin and muscles,
  • It fills spaces inside organs and is found around muscles, blood vessels and nerves.


  • It acts as a supporting and packing tissue between organs lying in the body cavity.
  • It helps in repair of tissues after an injury.
  • It also helps in combating foreign toxins.
  • It fixes skin to underlying muscles.

Adipose Tissue

  • Adipose tissue is basically an aggregation of fat cells.
  • Each fat cell is rounded or oval in shape and contains a large droplet of fat that almost fills it.
  • Adipose tissue is found below the skin and between internal organs.
  • The cells of this tissue are filled with fat globules.


  • Serves as a fat reservoir
  • Keeps visceral organs in position
  • Forms shock-absorbing cushions around kidneys and eye balls
  • Provides shape to the limbs and the body
  • Acts as an insulator being a poor conductor of heat, it reduces heat loss from body.

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