Absolute dating for kids
You can think of this type of time as how we normally view it on a day-to-day basis: specific intervals or moments measured in days, months, years, etc.
For example, 60 million years is a measure of absolute time. These are numerical representations of time, and they give us specific points of reference.
Coeditor of Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Radiocarbon and Tritium Dating.
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Try it risk-free You may not associate geology with time, but the former greatly depends on the latter.
Sometimes, scientists already know the age of the fossil because fossils of the same species have been found elsewhere and it has been possible to establish accurately from those when the dinosaur lived.
Geologists call this the principle of lateral continuity.
This radioactive decay takes place at a constant rate for each radioactive element.
Ammonites, shelled relatives of today’s octopus, make ideal index fossils.
Suppose a dinosaur fossil has been found in the beds of an ancient delta (the mouth of a river leading to the sea).
These processes involve sampling rocks and determining how old they are from their rate of decay.
Since absolute time gives us points of reference, it helps calibrate relative time, also called chronostratic time ('strata' means 'layers').