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Radiometric dating dinosaur bones

According to literature, other organic compounds that can contaminate bone samples are polyphenols, polysaccharides, lignins, and degraded collagen.

Depending on the location of the excavation, bones can also be contaminated by limestone.

AMS lab results with this sample will be inaccurate.

Other potential contaminants that can be introduced to bone samples after excavation include biocides, polyvinyl acetate and polyethylene glycol (conservation chemicals), cigarette ash, and labels or wrappers that are made of paper.

Depending on the age of the organism that produced the organic acids, the AMS lab’s result might reflect a radiocarbon age younger or older than the bone sample’s true age.

Bones can also be exposed to modern sources of carbon due to plant rootlet intrusions.

In general, infinite-age contaminants add considerable number of years to the true age of a bone sample, making it older than it is.

Bones are one of the most common materials sent to accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) labs for radiocarbon dating.

This is because bones of animals or humans are often subjects of archaeological studies.

When bones are applied with animal glue during labeling, a contaminant has already been introduced to the sample.

This is because animal glue is chemically identical to the bone sample.


  1. Dinosaur Bones. Dinosaur Teeth. Dating Fossils – How Are Fossils Dated. Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric.

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