What does relative dating mean in science
Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.
Accurate dates also allow us to create sequences of evolutionary change and work out when species appeared or became extinct. These are: Where possible, several different methods are used and each method is repeated to confirm the results obtained and improve accuracy.
In special cases, bones can be compared by measuring chemicals within them.
The number of tracks increases over time at a rate that depends on the uranium content.
It is possible to calculate the age of a sample by measuring the uranium content and the density of the fission tracks.
Buried bones absorb chemicals, such as uranium and fluorine, from the surrounding ground and absorb more of these chemicals the longer they remain buried.
The rates of absorption depend on a number of factors which are too variable to provide absolute dates.
Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.