Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time


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What kind of dating can we establish with the principle of fossil succession?

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1. An index fossil represents a species that _____.

2. If Fossil A is found in a lower rock layer, and Fossil B is found in an upper rock layer, then Species A most likely _____.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

See how well you can answer multiple-choice questions on topics like how the principle of fossil succession applies to dating and how to interpret fossil layers. Once you finish answering the questions, you'll get your quiz score automatically.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Prepare to answer questions on the concepts listed below:

  • Type of dating used with fossil succession
  • What an index fossil represents
  • Comparing fossils from lower and upper layers
  • How to match up two outcrops of fossils
  • Good and bad traits of index fossils

Skills Practiced

  • Interpreting information - verify you can read information about fossil succession and correctly interpret what kind of dating can be established based on it
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related index fossil lesson
  • Knowledge application - use what you've learned to identify a characteristic that would not be beneficial for an index fossil

Additional Learning

Get more information about this aspect of geology with the lesson called Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time. This lesson will help you:

  • Understand how relative dating sheds light on a geological time scale
  • Explain how scientists make the story of our history more complete
  • Identify who the first person was to understand the principle of fossil succession
  • Appreciate how an index fossil can act as a missing link