Cartilage is a dense, connective tissue found in different places throughout the body, such as the rib cage, nose, ear, throat and spine. Cartilage relies on the surrounding tissue for blood and nutrients, since it has no blood vessels of its own. The three types of cartilage are hyaline, elastic and fibrocartilage.
Nasal piercings (nostril, septum, and variants) are pierced through hyaline cartilage. Ear cartilage piercings are placed through elastic cartilage, which is more elastic than hyaline (hence the name).