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" First, the relative age of a fossil can be determined.

Relative dating puts geologic events in chronological order without requiring that a specific numerical age be assigned to each event.

There are three general approaches that allow scientists to date geological materials and answer the question: "How old is this fossil?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.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.For example, in the rocks exposed in the walls of the Grand Canyon (Figure 1) there are many horizontal layers, which are called strata.

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