What is fossil dating

Fossil succession is based on the observation that certain assemblages, or groups, of animals and plants have lived during certain time periods over geologic history.

For example, human beings and modern elephants are part of the same assemblage because we live in the same time period.

We talked about relative dating of rocks and how scientists use stratigraphic succession to compare the ages of different rock layers.

Back in 1793, there lived a land surveyor named William Smith.

Free 5-day trial You may already know how to date a fossil with a rock.

But did you know that we can also date a rock with a fossil?

We'd want to use a more short-lived fossil, like the dodo bird.

We also want our index fossils to be common, widely-distributed species that are easy for scientists to identify.

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