Radioactive isotope dating fossils teendatingservices

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years, meaning that every 5,700 years or so the object loses half its carbon-14.Samples from the past 70,000 years made of wood, charcoal, peat, bone, antler or one of many other carbonates may be dated using this technique.Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.

Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.The empty spaces within an organism (spaces filled with liquid or gas during life) become filled with mineral-rich groundwater.Minerals precipitate from the groundwater, occupying the empty spaces.to dinosaurs and trees, many meters long and weighing many tons.A fossil normally preserves only a portion of the deceased organism, usually that portion that was partially mineralized during life, such as the bones and teeth of vertebrates, or the chitinous or calcareous exoskeletons of invertebrates.

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Some fossils consist only of skeletal remains or teeth; other fossils contain traces of skin, feathers or even soft tissues. In some cases the original remains of the organism completely dissolve or are otherwise destroyed.

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