Amino acid dating fossils
For each dating or chronological method there is a link in the box at right to take you to that section of this page.
Temperature and humidity histories of microenvironments are being produced at ever increasing rates as technologies advance and technologists accumulate data.
It is based on the fact that amino acids (the building blocks of all proteins) exist in two mirror image forms, both of which otherwise have the same chemical structures.
The L-amino acid molecule form has an extension to the left, while the D-amino acid form has an extension to the right.
Amino acid racemization (or ) in fossils is interpreted in terms of relative ages.
If the reaction rate can be calibrated using an independently dated nearby site with similar thermal history, absolute dates can be inferred through calibration.