Dating for educators and scientists
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?
Scientists piece together a story of how one event came before or after another.
Relative dating cannot tell us the actual age of a rock; it can only tell us whether one rock is older or younger than another.
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.
When they find a section of rock that has a lot of different strata, they can assume that the bottom-most layer is the oldest and the top-most layer is the youngest.
But really, how do scientists figure out how old their dinosaur bones are?
And, what about other findings like fossil fish, plants and insects?
One of the biggest jobs of a geologist is establishing the absolute age, in years, of a rock or fossil.
Unlike relative dating, which only tells us the age of rock A compared to rock B, numerical dating tells us the age of rock A in x number of years.