Radiometric dating dinosaur bones
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.
The effect of contamination on bone samples that were subjected to AMS dating is dependent on these factors: type of contaminant, degree of contamination, and the relative age of the bones and the contaminant.
If limestone has not been removed prior to AMS carbon dating, the radiocarbon age will be much older than the sample’s true age.
A lot about the prehistoric era has been learned due to archaeological studies and radiocarbon dating of bones.
The time-width of any given sample reflects the total growth of the original organism and the span of time that organism interacted with the biosphere.
However, the open lattice structure of the hydroxyapatite makes it highly contaminated with carbonates from ground water.
Removal of carbonate contaminants through dilute acid washing is also not applicable because hydroxyapatite is acid soluble.
For most organisms that have bones, the time of their death is contemporaneous with their cessation of exchange with the biosphere.
Hence, these organisms’ radiocarbon age at death is zero.