Carbon dating live animal

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Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon.

Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nucleus, but different numbers of neutrons.

It can be applied to most organic materials and spans dates from a few hundred years ago right back to about 50,000 years ago - about when modern humans were first entering Europe.

For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.

Plant eating animals (herbivores and omnivores) get their carbon by eating plants.