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Paleontology seeks to map out how life evolved across geologic time.
A substantial hurdle is the difficulty of working out fossil ages.
There are several different methods for estimating the ages of fossils, including: Paleontologists rely on stratigraphy to date fossils.
Stratigraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.
The use of various radioisotopes allows the dating of biological and geological samples with a high degree of accuracy.As the isotopes decay, they give off particles from their nucleus and become a different isotope.The parent isotope is the original unstable isotope, and daughter isotopes are the stable product of the decay. In the first 5,730 years, the organism will lose half of its C-14 isotopes.When we die, we no longer ingest C14, and it begins to decay and turn into N14.By comparing the amount of C14 in an object to the amount of N14 in it we can determine how long it has been decaying for, and therefore when the organism died. Through decay Uranium-238 turns into stable Lead-206.