Palaeontological dating

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Carbon is radioactive, and decays, via beta decay, into nitrogen It's half-life is around 5, years.This ratio is well known both for the present, and for the past.Once an organism dies it stops taking in new carbon. Find the best palaeontological date for major nodes on the tree of life.Key genomic organisms To cite this data set, quote Benton, M. tree of life, paleontological dating, calibration, quality of fossil record date in molecular analyses, and they quote a range of estimates from to MYA.

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This means that in 5, years about half of the carbon in any sample will have decayed.

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