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The most common form of relative dating is called stratigraphic succession.This is just a fancy term for the way rock layers are built up and changed by geologic processes.In fact, Paul already knows that coelophysis lived around 200 million years ago, while iguanodon lived around 150 million years ago.So, what if Paul found that superus awesomus dinosaur fossil in this middle layer?Again, this doesn't tell them exactly how old the layers are, but it does give them an idea of the ordered sequence of events that occurred over the history of that geologic formation.

By studying how the mass of uranium changed with radioactive decay, Rutherford was able to determine the age of a rock containing a uranium mineral. It meant that scientists could suddenly establish the actual ages of all their rocks and fossils!

In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.

He saw that it underwent radioactive decay, or emission of energetic particles to produce new elements.

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Which of these does a better job of describing my age? So, in both geology and paleontology, we want to be able to point to an object and say exactly how old it is.

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