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Techniques for dating fossils

A substantial hurdle is the difficulty of working out fossil ages. There are several different methods for estimating the ages of fossils, including: Paleontologists rely on stratraphy to date fossils. Stratraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.

Techniques for dating fossils

Techniques for dating fossils

Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks. These rocks normally form relatively horizontal, parallel layers, with younger layers forming on top.

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  • If a fossil is found between two layers of rock whose ages are known, the fossil's age is thought to be between those two known ages.


    Techniques for dating fossils

    Techniques for dating fossils

    Techniques for dating fossils

    Because rock sequences are not continuous, but may be broken up by faults or periods of erosion, it is difficult to match up rock beds that are not directly adjacent. The layers of sedimentary rock, or strata, can be seen as horizontal bands of differently colored or differently structured materials exposed in this cliff.

    Techniques for dating fossils

    The deeper layers are older than the layers found at the top, which aids in determining the relative age of fossils found within the strata. Such index fossils must be distinctive, globally distributed, and occupy a short time range to be useful. AUSTRALIA DATING CHAT Misleading results can occur if the index fossils are incorrectly dated.


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