Relative age dating worksheets, relative dating diagram answer key

It is good at this time to remind them that these letters represent fossils in a rock layer and that one fossil next to another within a rock layer implies no particular sequencing; they both are approximately the same age as that particular rock layer.

On a larger scale, even between continents, fossil evidence can help in correlating rock layers.

Relative Dating Diagram Answer Key - jwarlock.com

Return to top To enhance this activity, have students match the fossil sketches to real fossils. This rock layer would be younger as indicated by the appearance of new fossils in the rock stratum.

Figure 2-A gives some background information on the individual fossils.

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The brachiopod, crinoid, eurypterid, foraminifera, gastropod, horn coral, pelecypod, and trilobite could probably not be used as index fossils since they overlap more than one stratum. Since this card has a common letter with the first card, it must go on top of the "TC" card.

Marine sedimentary rocks such as limestone, shale, and sandstone might contain fossils similar to those depicted in this activity.

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The sequence must be exactly in the order as written. Starting with the top card, the letters should be in order from youngest to oldest. The following is a list of fossils in the John Hanley Fossil Teaching Set that may be useful in this activity.

The letters on the other cards have no significance to the sequencing procedure and should be ignored at this time.


The following question may help clarify this point. Sequencing the rock layers will show the students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata. By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata.

By using this information from rock formations in various parts of the world and correlating the studies, scientists have been able to establish the geologic time scale.

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This will enable your teacher to quickly check whether you have the correct sequence. Scientists also use direct evidence from observations of the rock layers themselves to help determine Speed dating brest relative age of rock layers.

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Sequence the remaining cards by using the same process. When you finish, you should have a vertical stack of cards with the top card representing the youngest fossils of this rock sequence and the "TC" card at the bottom of the stack representing the oldest fossils. In a "normal" horizontal sequence of rocks, the oldest rock layers will be on the bottom with successively younger rocks on top.

Keep in mind that extinction is forever. Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age.

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The first card in the sequence has "Card 1, Set A" in the lower left-hand corner and represents the bottom of the sequence.

This also means that fossils found in the lowest levels in a sequence of layered rocks represent the oldest record of life there.

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This is called relative dating. 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.