Teaching relative age dating

The most obvious feature of sedimentary rock is its layering.

This feature is produced by changes in deposition over time.

Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.

Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.

Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists.

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We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating.

Scientists are always spouting information about the ages of rocks and fossils. Well, they figure it out using two different methods: relative dating and numerical dating.

Let's find out more about these geological dating methods in order to understand how Paul the Paleontologist can be so sure about the age of his dinosaur fossils.

But really, how do scientists figure out how old their dinosaur bones are?

And, what about other findings like fossil fish, plants and insects?

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