Difference between absolute and relative dating fossils

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 rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods.From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone.Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.The same rock formation also contains a type of trilobite that was known to live 415 to 425 million years ago.Since the rock formation contains both types of fossils the ago of the rock formation must be in the overlapping date range of 415 to 420 million years.

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