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*Earth and Space Science: Fossils provide important evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.The complete "Paleontology and Dinosaurs" module takes approximately four weeks to teach. " activity is a 30-minute introduction to geologic time.The fossils represented by the letters on this card are "younger" than the "T" or "C" fossils on the "TC" card which represents fossils in the oldest rock layer.Sequence the remaining cards by using the same process.Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.
Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age.
Scientists also use direct evidence from observations of the rock layers themselves to help determine the relative age of rock layers.
Specific rock formations are indicative of a particular type of environment existing when the rock was being formed.
By matching partial sequences, the truly oldest layers with fossils can be worked out.
By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata. Relative dating tells scientists if a rock layer is "older" or "younger" than another.
*Life Science: Fossils indicate that many organisms that lived long ago are extinct.