They then crunch some numbers do some math and figure out how old the fossils are. One example is that uranium turns to lead after a while.
So if they find a piece of rock that has uranium in it, they can compare it to how much lead is in the rocks. Radioactive elements are only really found in igneous rocks, and unfortunately for the scientists, you don’t find fossils in this type of rock.
What scientists do know is how quickly the radioactive pieces of rock fall apart and they know what the radioactive pieces of rock turn into after they’ve fallen apart.
If they can’t date the fossils with heaps of tests, then paleontologists date them using something called ‘relative dating’. You might know this already, but rocks are formed in horizontal layers.Once they know how old the rocks are, they will know how old the fossils are. Interesting Facts about Fossils • The largest single fossil ever found was a tree. Scientists think that when it was living it was over 100m long. So now you know how paleontologists find out how old fossils are and a few cool facts about fossils.Do you know any other interesting stuff about fossils to share with us?In 1676 a massive thigh bone was found in England by Reverend Plot.They believed that it belonged to a ‘giant’, but again paleontologists believe this was really a dinosaur too.In the 1960s scientists discovered some new information about dinosaurs, and when this happened all the palaeontologists decided that it was time to start searching again.