If I told you that I was 30 years old, that number would be my numerical age.
If I told you I was 32 years younger than my mother, that number would be my relative age.
In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.
Which of these does a better job of describing my age? So, in both geology and paleontology, we want to be able to point to an object and say exactly how old it is.
To do that, we have to learn a little bit about radioactive decay.
Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.
We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating.
Scientists piece together a story of how one event came before or after another.
Relative dating cannot tell us the actual age of a rock; it can only tell us whether one rock is older or younger than another.
In fact, Paul already knows that coelophysis lived around 200 million years ago, while iguanodon lived around 150 million years ago.
So, what if Paul found that superus awesomus dinosaur fossil in this middle layer?
The most common form of relative dating is called stratigraphic succession.