Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.
Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
A fossil can be defined as any trace or artifact of life.
Fossils can give clues to the past and history of life on Earth.
Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.
Fossils are relatively rare because of all of the elements that have to fall into place before an organism can become a fossil.Different methods have their own limitations, especially with regard to the age range they can measure and the substances they can date.A common problem with any dating method is that a sample may be contaminated with older or younger material and give a false age.Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.As radioactive Parent atoms decay to stable daughter atoms (as uranium decays to lead) each disintegration results in one more atom of the daughter than was initially present and one less atom of the parent.