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Word Count: 518
Fossils are amazing how they are formed The process is fossilization I was surprised to discover that a series of mistakes must happen in order for a fossil to be created First some living creatures must die and must somehow escape the scavengers that have a roll in the food chain The once living has to then become entombed in mud and sand The shroud must lie undisturbed for years so that mineralization can take place in which the tissue or cast gets filled in with sediment Then this body turns to stone The scientists that study these relics are called paleontologist Dates in paleontology are usually revised backward in time since a new find may revise an event earlier then what was discovered previously Examining articles for the first multi-cellular organisms First vertebrates or the pollination of insects to flowering plants The strata of rock in which they are found date the fossils Measuring the extent of radioactive decay in certain isotopes they contain dates the rocks The element carbon can exist in three different forms Carbon 12 six protons and six neutrons Carbon 13 six protons and seven neutrons 12C and 13C are not radioactive The rare 14C is radioactive its atom decay by the loss of an electron to nitrogen 14 Theirs a half-life 14C is approximately 5730 years this is how long it takes for half the atoms in and quantity to decay The earth gains 14C from cosmic radiation and losses it as a result of radioactive decay Volcanic ash can be used for dating Ash known as mazama with an age of 6720 radiocarbon years and Glacier Peak B ash located in glacier peak Washington with an age of 11250 radio carbon years Another method of dating is called molecular clock examine for genes which are descended from a common ancestral gene Although very new this method sometimes clashes with conventional methods because its not well calibrated
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