Radiocarbon dating is useful for dating dinosaur fossils

Radiocarbon Dating Paleontologists have a very special way of determining the age of a fossil. Every living creature on earth contains a large amount of carbon.

Only a very tiny amount of this carbon is radioactive. As we go through our daily lives, eating and breathing, we continue to take in carbon from other sources.

Sometimes a fossil might only be a few parts of an animal.Since fossils also contain many other elements, scientists also use these factors to determine date going as far back as 2.2 billion years!Since these techniques have not yet been perfected, scientists usually make an estimate.Other useful radioisotopes for radioactive dating include Uranium -235 (half-life = 704 million years), Uranium -238 (half-life = 4.5 billion years), Thorium-232 (half-life = 14 billion years) and Rubidium-87 (half-life = 49 billion years).The use of various radioisotopes allows the dating of biological and geological samples with a high degree of accuracy.

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