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Carbon dating is used by archeologists to date trees, plants, and animal remains; as well as human artifacts made from wood and leather; because these items are generally younger than 50, years. Because of the short length of the carbon half-life, carbon dating is only accurate for items that are thousands to tens of thousands of years old.

A living organism takes in both carbon and carbon from the environment in the same can carbon dating be used on stone proportion that they existed naturally. Geologists do not use carbon-based radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks. Other signs, such as erosion may provide clues to the age of weather-exposed rocks.

A limitation of true "carbon dating" is that it is not very accurate at all for times less than several thousands of years. Geologists must therefore use elements with longer half-lives. Only organic materials that originally contained carbon can be "carbon dated". Similarly, years after an organism dies, only one quarter of its original carbon atoms are still around.

Geologists do not use carbon-based radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks. Because of the short length of the carbon half-life, carbon dating is only accurate for items that are thousands to tens of thousands of years old.

Carbon is found in different forms in the environment — mainly in the stable form of carbon and the unstable form of carbon Geologists measure the abundance of these radioisotopes instead to date rocks. The same may be true for igneous rocksbut finding suitable carbon samples may be unlikely. Scientists can determine how long ago an organism died by measuring how much carbon is left relative to the carbon