is the most widespread epithelium. It is composed of several layers of cells, which makes it very durable.
The basal layer of cells are columnar, while the apical cells are flat, squamous cells. Since this epithelium is found in places where the most wear and tear occur, the outer apical cells are constantly being rubbed away and replaced from below by cell division of the basal columnar cells.
STRATIFIED SQUAMOUS EPITHELIUM forms the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. It also covers the tongue and lines the mouth, throat,
esophagus, anus, & vagina. It protects underlying tissues from abrasion, dehydration, chemicals, and bacterial invasion.