Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?

Fossil dating is a lot like eating a delicious ice cream cake. Well, sort of. We find out how scientists look at the rock and elements AROUND a fossil to figure out its age. Plus: We talk to a scientist who studied one of the coolest fossils discovered recently: a dinosaur tail trapped in amber, complete with feathers!

Photos of the dinosaur tail in amber!

DIP-V-15103, with tail section running diagonally through the amber piece, surrounded by ants, a beetle, and foliage fragments. (Royal Saskatchewan Museum | R.C. McKellar)

The section of a dinosaur tail with feathers running through the amber piece. (Royal Saskatchewan Museum | R.C. McKellar)

Tail feathers examined with dark field lighting, to highlight translucent structures of the barbs and barbules, as well as lack of rachis.  (Royal Saskatchewan Museum | R.C. McKellar)

Tail feathers examined with dark field lighting, to highlight translucent structures of the barbs and barbules, as well as lack of rachis. (Royal Saskatchewan Museum | R.C. McKellar)

An illustration of a small coelurosaur. (CHEUNG Chung-tat and LIU Yi)

An illustration of a small coelurosaur. (CHEUNG Chung-tat and LIU Yi)

Lida Xing and Ryan McKellar holding amber pieces from the study site. (Photo by Shenna Wang)

Lida Xing and Ryan McKellar holding amber pieces from the study site. (Photo by Shenna Wang)