Start Absolute dating of fossils definition

Absolute dating of fossils definition

We talked about relative dating of rocks and how scientists use stratigraphic succession to compare the ages of different rock layers.

But sometimes, a scientist finds a couple of rock outcrops that are separated by a wide distance.

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

Watch this video to find out how we use index fossils to establish the relative ages of rocks.

In previous lessons, we talked about the Geologic Time Scale and how scientists use it to piece together the history of the earth.

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Though using similar methods, these two techniques differ in certain ways that will be discussed in this article.