Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.
Connected to internal radiation damage, these processes partially disrupt the crystal structure and partly explain the highly variable properties of zircon.
As zircon becomes more and more modified by internal radiation damage, the density decreases, the crystal structure is compromised, and the color changes.
The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system.
The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and green.
Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.
The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.
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.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.