Fossil dating lab

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Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.

The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.

Specific rock formations are indicative of a particular type of environment existing when the rock was being formed.

For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed.

Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.

They could be as close as Arizona or as far away as the Gobi Desert in Mongolia!

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At the dig site we begin by looking for exposed fossils. We dig slowly and carefully so we don't damage the specimen.By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata. Relative dating tells scientists if a rock layer is "older" or "younger" than another.This would also mean that fossils found in the deepest layer of rocks in an area would represent the oldest forms of life in that particular rock formation.Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age.Scientists also use direct evidence from observations of the rock layers themselves to help determine the relative age of rock layers.

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