dating of fossils evolution - Radiocarbon dating pollen

Since certain species of animals existed on Earth at specific times in history, the fossils or remains of such animals embedded within those successive layers of rock also help scientists determine the age of the layers.

radiocarbon dating pollen-48

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Before the advent of absolute dating methods in the twentieth century, nearly all dating was relative.

The main relative dating method is stratigraphy (pronounced stra-TI-gra-fee), which is the study of layers of rocks or the objects embedded within those layers.

Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.

The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.

Narrow rings grow in cold or dry years, and wide rings grow in warm or wet years.

The rings form a distinctive pattern, which is the same for all members in a given species and geographical area.

By measuring the amount of carbon-14 remaining, scientists can pinpoint the exact date of the organism's death.

The range of conventional radiocarbon dating is 30,000 to 40,000 years.

The nucleus of every radioactive element (such as radium and uranium) spontaneously disintegrates over time, transforming itself into the nucleus of an atom of a different element.

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