In this activity, students date fossils from one site by matching them to fossils already dated somewhere else. They use real data from Mangahouanga, made famous by paleontologist Joan Wiffen.


By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • understand how the age of fossils in one rock can be obtained using dates from fossils in a different place
  • understand that most fossils can only be dated to a time range, not a precise date
  • realise that microscopic fossils can be as important as big ones
  • read information from scientific charts and share their results with others.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • student worksheets.
    Published 18 May 2011