How does radiometric dating help scientists pinpoint the age of fossils

how does radiometric dating help scientists pinpoint the age of fossils

How do scientists use fossils to determine the age of life?

Fossils give information about the time period in which organisms lived in the past. How does radiometric dating help scientists pinpoint the age of a fossil? Radiometric dating shows the rate of decay of radioactive material present in any object. Scientists can use that data to find the absolute age of the fossil.

How do scientists date igneous rocks?

Scientists date igneous rock using elements that are slow to decay, such as uranium and potassium. By dating these surrounding layers, they can figure out the youngest and oldest that the fossil might be; this is known as “bracketing” the age of the sedimentary layer in which the fossils occur.

How does fossil evidence support the theory of evolution?

Fossil evidence suggests that whales evolved from land mammals. Using comparative DNAtechniques, scientists have also suggested that whales are related to hippos. How could comparing amino acid sequences support the theory of evolution?

What methods are used to date fossils?

A number of methods are used today to date fossils. Most of the methods are indirect meaning that the age of the soil or rock in which the fossils are found are dated, not the fossils themselves. The most common way to ascertain the age of a fossil is by determining where it is found in rock layers.

Why is the layer of the Earth important in fossil dating?

This can be seen along many newly built mountainous highways where various layers of rock, minerals, and vegetative materials are exposed to the human eye as the mountains have been cut through to make passageways. Thus in fossil dating, the layer of the earth in which the fossil was found will be important in finding the age.

How old are fossils found in another location?

Fossil A is between 400 and 420 million years old. Fossil B is older than 420 million years. If we now find one of these fossils (Fossil C) in another location that lacks radiometrically-datable layers, we assume by correlation (until we find contrary evidence) that they are about the same age as they are at our original location.

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