Which form of radiometric dating is used for dinosaur fossils?

6 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Usually potassium - argon neodymium - samarium, strontium - rubidium  and sometimes uranium -lead and lead -  lead. There are other radiometric dating methods that are used, but carbon 13 carbon 12 dating is NOT used. 


  • Who
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    3 things about C14/C12 dating

     1) It is ONLY valid on what was organic material - (cos it relies of a living organism to be continuosly ingesting a known ratio of C14/12 from the food it eats and that will continuously refresh the C14/C12 in its body. Once that ingestion stops the food intake will stop and the C14 IN the body will start to decay back to Nitrogen

        Since you know the starting ratio and can measure the ratio in the sample you got you can calculate how old the sample it

    so measuring it in say diamonds is irrelevant

    2) C14 is produced when nitrogen is hit by cosmic rays

      WHEN C14 decays- it decays back to nitrogen

    3) IF ANY substance is subjected to cosmic rays and contains nitrogen then THAT nitrogen can be converted to C14 - So its VERY important you are assured the sample you got has been free from radiation, otherwise you will get a higher ratio of C14/12 than there should be

  • 8 months ago

    If I remember my science class in High school its called carbon dating. I believe, everything has carbon, and over time after we die the carbon decays, or is lowered. So they measure how much decay of carbon is in a bone. 

  • CRR
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Theoretically Radiocarbon could not be used since it would be undetectable after 60,000 years (~10 half lives). However many radiocarbon test have now been performed on dinosaur fossils and detectable levels of 14C are quite common, as is the case in diamonds and coal.

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  • 8 months ago

    It is not usually done.  It is not usually possible to date fossils directly.

  • 8 months ago

    Depending on the types of rock associated with the fossils, Uranium-Lead and Potassium-Argon are frequently used.

    Please note:

    Since the mineralization processes that produce most fossils involve sedimentary rock, the fossils themselves don't typically contain any usable radioisotopes.  Such dating is usually done on adjacent igneous layers that can be chronologically linked to them.

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