What is relative dating of fossils

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PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.In this activity, students begin a sequencing activity with familiar items — letters written on cards.Once they are able to manipulate the cards into the correct sequence, they are asked to do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures printed on "rock layer" cards.Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

Dating is a technique used in archeology to ascertain the age of artifacts, fossils and other items considered to be valuable by archeologists.

There are many methods employed by these scientists, interested in the old, to get to know the age of items.

This is a method that does not find the age in years but is an effective technique to compare the ages of two or more artifacts, rocks or even sites.

It implies that relative dating cannot say conclusively about the true age of an artifact.

It is possible to tell the number of years ago a particular rock or archeological site had been formed.

Two broad categories of classification methods are relative dating and absolute dating.

Sedimentary rocks are rarely useful for dating because they are made up of bits of older rocks.

Uranium is present in many different rocks and minerals, usually in the form of uranium-238.

Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.

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