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.
All lines of evidence point to a range of (Th) nr for fossil corals that overlaps the range determined for the living coral, suggesting that most of the thorium is primary or is added while the coral is still alive.
Our work also demonstrates the utility of multiple (TY - JOURT1 - U/Th-dating living and young fossil corals from the central tropical Pacific AU - Cobb, Kim M. AU - Cheng, Hai AU - Kastner, Miriam AU - Edwards, R.
Next, we use the firm relative dating constraints imposed by five overlapping fossil corals from the 14th-15th centuries to calculate (Th) nr values.
First, we compare measured U/Th dates to absolute dates in samples from a young fossil coral that overlaps the living coral.
Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
For example, based on the primate fossil record, scientists know that living primates evolved from fossil primates and that this evolutionary history took tens of millions of years.
By comparing fossils of different primate species, scientists can examine how features changed and how primates evolved through time.