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Articular cartilage is a smooth, avascular, highly-organized tissue containing chondrocytes embedded in the extracellular matrix of specific collagens and proteoglycans. Stylopod articular cartilage covers the distal epiphyseal ends of the humerus and femur bones and the proximal epiphyseal ends of the ulna, radius, tibia and fibula. The cartilage is essential for proper functioning of the synovial joint. In the mouse, the development of articular cartilage begins during embryogenesis at sites of synovial joint formation.