Relative dating and absolute dating similarities
By measuring the amount of carbon-14 remaining, scientists can pinpoint the exact date of the organism's death.
The range of conventional radiocarbon dating is 30,000 to 40,000 years.
If a certain kind of pollen is found in an archaeological site, scientists can check when the plant that produced that pollen lived to determine the relative age of the site.
Absolute dating methods are carried out in a laboratory.
Since certain species of animals existed on Earth at specific times in history, the fossils or remains of such animals embedded within those successive layers of rock also help scientists determine the age of the layers.
Similarly, pollen grains released by seed-bearing plants became fossilized in rock layers.
Narrow rings grow in cold or dry years, and wide rings grow in warm or wet years.
Carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element carbon, is created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays (invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space).
Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.
Half-life: Measurement of the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive substance to decay.
When carbon-14 falls to Earth, it is absorbed by plants.
These plants are eaten by animals who, in turn, are eaten by even larger animals.