Definition relative dating fossils

For a fossil to be a good index fossil, it needs to have lived during one specific time period, be easy to identify and have been abundant and found in many places. If you find ammonites in a rock in the South Island and also in a rock in the North Island, you can say that both rocks are Mesozoic.

Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.

For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.

Correlation with them has helped geologists date many New Zealand rocks, including those containing dinosaurs.

In relative dating, mostly the common sense principles are applied, and it is told that which artifact or object is older than the other one.

Most commonly, the ancient factors of the rocks or objects are examined using the method called stratigraphy.

Correlation can involve matching an undated rock with a dated one at another location.

Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.Relative fossil dating is different from absolute dating, in one important way: Absolute dating gives you a number (for example, carbon dating a fossil to 50 million years ago).Relative dating puts the fossil in context---what lived before it, and what lived after. These events may be paleontological (relating to ancient life, like dinosaur extinction); geographical (relating to earth and natural environment, like eruptions and the Ice Age); and archaeological (relating to ancient society and structures, like the appearance of the Maya).That fossil species may have been dated somewhere else, so you can match them and say that your fossil has a similar age.Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.

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