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Relative dating of fossils activity

This would also mean that fossils found in the deepest layer of rocks in an area would represent the oldest forms of life in that particular rock formation.In reading earth history, these layers would be "read" from bottom to top or oldest to most recent.For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed.Return to top The study and comparison of exposed rock layers or strata in various parts of the earth led scientists in the early 19th century to propose that the rock layers could be correlated from place to place.

Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.

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.

*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.


  1. During the introductory activity, students learn that geology is a lot like detective work. Geologists infer the sequence and timing of events by collecting evidence and making observations, just like a detective. Students first make observations of a murder mystery. Then, they try to use simple principles to develop a story that is.

  2. Line of Evidence – Informational Text. Sedimentary rock is the type of rock in which fossils are most likely to form. Geologic age dating is assigning an age to materials which can be further broken down in the categories of relative and absolute age dating.

  3. Fossils have been used to date rocks as they are time markers – many species lived at a particular time and later became extinct. As you saw from 1 above, the deepest rocks are usually the oldest, therefore the fossils found at the base of a rock sequence that has not been disturbed will be the oldest. Complete the.

  4. Layers and Laws. The Law of Superposition and Index Fossils. By Kathleen Yates. Based on “Who Dunit and the Law of Superposition” by Lisa Wald, U. S. Geological Survey AND. “Who's on First; A relative dating activity” by Marsha Barber and Diana Scheidle.

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