Why are index fossils useful for dating rocks

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Index fossils are fossils that can be used to date the rock in which they are found.

This matching process is called correlation, which has been an important process in constructing geological timescales.

Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.

For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.

Correlation with them has helped geologists date many New Zealand rocks, including those containing dinosaurs.

Bring relative dating principles to life with the activity Rock layers and relative dating.

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