Absolute dating fossils

08 Feb

After all, a dinosaur wouldn’t be caught dead next to a trilobite.The narrower a range of time that an animal lived, the better it is as an index of a specific time.Suppose you find a fossil at one place that cannot be dated using absolute methods.That fossil species may have been dated somewhere else, so you can match them and say that your fossil has a similar age.Relative dating is used to arrange geological events, and the rocks they leave behind, in a sequence.

For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.

Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.

Correlation can involve matching an undated rock with a dated one at another location.

Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.