Relative dating techniques for fossils
Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists.
In fact, Paul already knows that coelophysis lived around 200 million years ago, while iguanodon lived around 150 million years ago.
So, what if Paul found that superus awesomus dinosaur fossil in this middle layer?
The most common form of relative dating is called stratigraphic succession.
This is just a fancy term for the way rock layers are built up and changed by geologic processes.
Again, this doesn't tell them exactly how old the layers are, but it does give them an idea of the ordered sequence of events that occurred over the history of that geologic formation.
Sort of an offshoot of stratigraphic succession is fossil succession, or a method in which scientists compare fossils in different rock strata to determine the relative ages of each.Recently, he appeared on the evening news to talk about a new dinosaur he just discovered. Paul says he can tell from the fossils that superus awesomus lived on Earth about 175 million years ago.Paul is super awesome, so I'm going to take him at his word.The method of using radioactive decay to determine the age of rocks is called radiometric dating. Today, we don't just use uranium to measure the ages of rocks. We use different elements to measure the ages of different types of rocks.It's a complicated science that requires lots of knowledge about chemistry and physics, but it's the only way to determine an actual, absolute number for the ages of rocks and fossils.Scientists are always spouting information about the ages of rocks and fossils. Well, they figure it out using two different methods: relative dating and numerical dating.