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Can fossils be used to determine why a species went extinct?

Fossils allow these scientists to determine the features of extinct species. Through studying fossils, we now know that today’s organisms look much different in many cases than those that were alive in the past. Scientists have also shown that organisms were spread out differently across the planet.

What does the fossil record reveal about extinct species?

The fossil record provides evidence for when organisms lived on Earth, how species evolved, and how some species have gone extinct. Geologists use a method called radiometric dating to determine the exact age of rocks and fossils in each layer of rock.

How do rock layers help us to determine when species become fossils?

Fossils found in a particular rock layer help scientists determine the age of the rock. Scientists use a technique called radiocarbon dating to find out the age of the fossils. Once they know the age of the fossil in the rock, they also know that rock itself is about the same age!

How does knowing when a fossil existed became extinct help us date rocks?

In this case, fossils can be useful tools for understanding the relative ages of rocks. The principle of faunal succession states that different fossil species always appear and disappear in the same order, and that once a fossil species goes extinct, it disappears and cannot reappear in younger rocks (Figure 4).

Which fossil layer is the oldest?

The oldest layers are on the bottom, and the youngest layers are on the top. Because sediments sometimes include once-living organisms, sedimentary rock often contains a lot of fossils. Fossils are once-living organisms that have been turned into rock, in which the shape or form of the organism can still be seen.

Why are older fossils found deeper?

All kinds of geologic forces push the fossils into the ground. Faults (earthquakes) usally bend and crack the crust that causes the fossils to become deeper. Also, layers of sediment end up on top of the fossils. Over millions of years the sediments really builds up and the fossils can end up very deep down.

What is the oldest layer?

The principle of superposition states that the oldest sedimentary rock units are at the bottom, and the youngest are at the top. Based on this, layer C is oldest, followed by B and A.

How do you know which fossil is older?

To establish the age of a rock or a fossil, researchers use some type of clock to determine the date it was formed. Geologists commonly use radiometric dating methods, based on the natural radioactive decay of certain elements such as potassium and carbon, as reliable clocks to date ancient events.

How is volcanic ash dating?

To get an age in years, we use radiometric dating of the rocks. Not every rock can be dated this way, but volcanic ash deposits are among those that can be dated. The position of the fossils above or below a dated ash layer allows us to work out their ages. The volcanic ash layer is dated as 507 million years old.

What are 2 methods of dating fossils?

There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.

How accurate is fossil dating?

It continues to be accurate to within a few thousand years. With modern, extremely precise methods the error bars are often only 1% or so. Conclusion: The strict rules of the scientific method ensure the accuracy of fossil dating. The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution.

What are the dating methods?

There are two main categories of dating methods in archaeology: indirect or relative dating and absolute dating. Relative dating includes methods that rely on the analysis of comparative data or the context (eg, geological, regional, cultural) in which the object one wishes to date is found.

How do you date a million year old fossil?

Today’s knowledge of fossil ages comes primarily from radiometric dating, also known as radioactive dating. Radiometric dating relies on the properties of isotopes. These are chemical elements, like carbon or uranium, that are identical except for one key feature — the number of neutrons in their nucleus.

Why can’t Uranium 238 be used to determine the age of a fossil of a dinosaur?

Uranium 238 is only found in igneous or volcanic rocks. So no fossils can be dated directly using U 238. Because of the huge differences in the half lives of Carbon 14 and Uranium238 they cannot be used together. Carbon 14 can only be used to date fossils of a very recent age.