Paleontology dating techniques
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A relative age is the age of a fossil organism, rock, or geologic feature or event defined relative to other organisms, rocks, or features or events rather than in terms of years.
Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.
They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.
When ‘parent’ uranium-238 decays, for example, it produces subatomic particles, energy and ‘daughter’ lead-206.
Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.
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