The carbon in their bodies at the time of their death will remain in their bodies until they decompose, or if they become fossilized, then forever. This allows scientists to look at the amount of decay in a fossil’s radioactive carbon and determine a relative date.
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This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers.
This restriction extends to animals that consume seafood in their diet.
As stated previously, carbon dating cannot be used on artifacts over about 50,000 years old.
The question should be whether or not carbon-14 can be used to date any artifacts at all? There are a few categories of artifacts that can be dated using carbon-14; however, they cannot be more 50,000 years old.
Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.
Radiocarbon Dating One method that scientists use to date ancient fossils and artifacts is called radiocarbon dating.
All living things on Earth are made up of a high percentage of an element called carbon.
This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.