To establish the age of a rock or a fossil, researchers use some type of clock to determine the date it was formed. Geologists commonly use radiometric dating methods, based on the natural radioactive decay of certain elements such as potassium and carbon, as reliable clocks to date ancient events.
What is the best method to use for dating rocks and fossils?
radiometric dating methods Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods. This uses radioactive minerals that occur in rocks and fossils almost like a geological clock. Its often much easier to date volcanic rocks than the fossils themselves or the sedimentary rocks they are found in.
What type of dating estimates the age of a rock or fossil?
Sometimes. Scientists called geochronologists are experts in dating rocks and fossils, and can often date fossils younger than around 50,000 years old using radiocarbon dating. This method has been used to provide dates for all kinds of interesting material like cave rock art and fossilized poop.
How do you tell if there is a fossil in a rock?
Mostly, however, heavy and lightly colored objects are rocks, like flint. Paleontologists also examine the surfaces of potential fossils. If they are smooth and do not have any real texture, they are probably rocks. Even if it is shaped like a bone, if it does not have the right texture then it is probably a rock.