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Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.
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.
by Tas Walker A geologist works out the relative age of a rock by carefully studying where the rock is found in the field.These were then eroded and Sedimentary Rocks B were deposited.In a related article on geologic ages (Ages), we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages.The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent labs for each method to cross-check results.Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. “They’re based on ‘it’s that old because I say so,’ a popular approach by some of my older colleagues,” says Shea, laughing, “though I find I like it myself as I get more gray hair.” Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.