Radiocarbon dating is not useful for most fossils

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For example, in 1991, two hikers discovered a mummified man, preserved for centuries in the ice on an alpine mountain.Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.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.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.

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In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.C) dating usually want to know about the radiometric[1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years.The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time.By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in dead organic material the approximate time since it died can be worked out.

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