University of California Press The product of the decay is called the daughter isotope. Geologists call this the principle of lateral continuity. The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution. References and Recommended Reading Deino, A. Fossils might also be fragile or found in small fragments. Third, magnetism in rocks can be used to estimate the age of a fossil site.
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How Do Scientists Date Ancient Things?
Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact editor actionbioscience. These fossils aid the scientific investigation of human evolution. Geologists also use other methods - such as electron spin resonance and thermoluminescencewhich assess the effects of radioactivity on the accumulation of electrons in imperfections, or "traps," in the crystal structure of a mineral - to determine the age of the rocks or fossils. Ash around the first method. Second, it is possible to determine the numerical age for fossils or earth materials. Science Newsletter: If the same index fossil is found in different areas, the strata in each area were likely deposited at the same time.