We previously studied the phenomena of the mesenchymal cell-dependent mode of cartilage growth in quail and catfish. Thus, we selected the two cartilage models in which mesenchymal cells participate in their growth. In such models, cartilage degradation occurred to facilitate cellular invasion. The studies do not explain the nature of the cartilage degrading cells. The current study aims to explore the nature of the cartilage-degrading cells using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and immunohistochemistry. Samples of cartilage have been isolated from the air-breathing organ of catfish and the cartilage of the prospective occipital bone of quail embryos. Samples have been processed for TEM and immunohistochemistry. We found that two different cell types are involved in cartilage degradation; the macrophage in the cartilage of catfish and mesenchymal cells in the cartilage of the quail. Areas of cellular invasion in both catfish cartilage and quail embryo cartilage had an immunological affinity for MMP-9. In catfish, cartilage-degrading cells had identical morphological features of macrophages, whereas in quail embryos, cartilage-degrading cells were mesenchymal-like cells which had cell processes rich in vesicles and expressed CD117. Further study should consider the role of macrophage and mesenchymal cells during cartilage degradation. This could be valuable to be applied to remove the defective cartilage matrix formed in osteoarthritic patients to improve cartilage repair strategies.