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Carbon normally occurs as Carbon-12, but radioactive Carbon-14 may sometimes be formed in the outer atmosphere as Nitrogen-14 undergoes cosmic ray bombardment.

In theory, it might be useful to archaeology, but not to geology or paleontology.Carbon-14 on the other hand is an unstable isotope; that is, it decays naturally over time. It is produced naturally in the atmosphere and mixes with carbon-12 becoming part of our planet's biosphere.As creatures consume carbon from their environment and incorporate it into their bodies, they consume both carbon-12 and carbon-14.I know can be hard to wrap your head around, so let's model it with a six-sided die. You can use Lego bricks, pennies, beans—anything you can easily count. Every time you roll a one, put that object into a separate pile.Count the remaining objects and repeat the process until half of them have decayed. It took a while, but we finally got pretty close to 40 tiles left.

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