Carbon dating age of fossil

A submethod within biostratigraphy is faunal association: Sometimes researchers can determine a rough age for a fossil based on established ages of other fauna from the same layer — especially microfauna, which evolve faster, creating shorter spans in the fossil record for each species.

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Researchers can first apply an absolute dating method to the layer.

There are some radioactive elements in rock that decay by giving off energy and turning into different, more stable elements.

This radioactive decay takes place at a constant rate for each radioactive element.

A fossil will always be younger than fossils in the beds beneath it and this is called the principle of superposition.

In an undisturbed sequence of rocks, such as in a cliff face, it is easy to get a rough idea of the ages of the individual strata – the oldest lies at the bottom and the youngest lies at the top.

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