Biology carbon dating

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Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks.These rocks normally form relatively horizontal, parallel layers, with younger layers forming on top.The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.

Potassium-40 is another radioactive element naturally found in your body and has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.However, radioisotope dating may not work so well in the future.Anything that dies after the 1940s, when Nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors and open-air nuclear tests started changing things, will be harder to date precisely.If a fossil is found between two layers of rock whose ages are known, the fossil's age is thought to be between those two known ages.Because rock sequences are not continuous, but may be broken up by faults or periods of erosion, it is difficult to match up rock beds that are not directly adjacent.

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