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Second, it is possible to determine the numerical age for fossils or earth materials.Numerical ages estimate the date of a geological event and can sometimes reveal quite precisely when a fossil species existed in time.Third, magnetism in rocks can be used to estimate the age of a fossil site.This method uses the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field, which has changed through time, to determine ages for fossils and rocks.However, the age of each fossil primate needs to be determined so that fossils of the same age found in different parts of the world and fossils of different ages can be compared.There are three general approaches that allow scientists to date geological materials and answer the question: "How old is this fossil?Geologists have established a set of principles that can be applied to sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are exposed at the Earth's surface to determine the relative ages of geological events preserved in the rock record.

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Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.The layers of rock at the base of the canyon were deposited first, and are thus older than the layers of rock exposed at the top (principle of superposition).In the Grand Canyon, the layers of strata are nearly horizontal.The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.Layers of rock are deposited horizontally at the bottom of a lake (principle of original horizontality).Younger layers are deposited on top of older layers (principle of superposition).This is the principle of original horizontality: layers of strata are deposited horizontally or nearly horizontally (Figure 2).Thus, any deformations of strata (Figures 2 and 3) must have occurred after the rock was deposited.

Radiometric dating daughter isotope