Radio dating fossils
Radio dating fossils - Webcam ups
As the isotopes decay, they give off particles from their nucleus and become a different isotope.
These radioactive isotopes are unstable, decaying over time at a predictable rate.
Scientists find out the age of a dinosaur fossil by dating not only the rocks in which it lies, but those below and above it.
Sometimes, scientists already know the age of the fossil because fossils of the same species have been found elsewhere and it has been possible to establish accurately from those when the dinosaur lived.
This is an informational tour in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.
The Age of Dinosaurs was so many millions of years ago that it is very difficult to date exactly.
Fossils are collected along with rocks that occur from the same strata.
These samples are carefully cataloged and analyzed with a mass spectrometer.
The mass spectrometer is able to give information about the type and amount of isotopes found in the rock.
Scientists find the ratio of parent isotope to daughter isotope.
This problem is now reduced by the careful collection of samples, rigorous crosschecking and the use of newer techniques that can date minute samples.
Volcanic rocks – such as tuff and basalt – can be used in dating because they are formed at a particular moment in time, during an eruption.
So, when looking at the history of a cliff face, it is important to read the story it tells from the bottom layer up.