The epiglottis is composed primarily of elastic cartilage, according to Florida State University's Molecular Expressions. This type of cartilage also makes up the earlobe and parts of the larynx. Elastic cartilage helps a structure keep its shape and provides support, but it also contains fibers that aid in flexibility.
Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that contains no nerves and no blood vessels. Elastic cartilage is also known as yellow cartilage. Elastic fiber networks and collagen make up a large part of elastic cartilage, and its primary protein is elastin. The job of the epiglottis is to cover the glottis, the opening of the larynx, during swallowing so that food does not enter.