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That means they don't really know how old their rocks actually are.The key in relative dating is to find an ordered sequence.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Again, this doesn't tell them exactly how old the layers are, but it does give them an idea of the ordered sequence of events that occurred over the history of that geologic formation.Sort of an offshoot of stratigraphic succession is fossil succession, or a method in which scientists compare fossils in different rock strata to determine the relative ages of each.Free 5-day trial Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.

To do that, we have to learn a little bit about radioactive decay.In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.He saw that it underwent radioactive decay, or emission of energetic particles to produce new elements.But really, how do scientists figure out how old their dinosaur bones are?And, what about other findings like fossil fish, plants and insects?

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