Poaching of elephant tusks and rhino horns is at an all time high, according to c Frank G. But taking tusks for ivory hasn't always been illegal - a global trade ban only came into effect in - so when those policing the ban seize an ivory artifact, they need to know when it was actually taken from the animal. That's where the fallout comes in. It helps with a particular type of radiocarbon dating, which relies on measuring the concentration of carbon, a radioactive isotope with a half life of about 5, years.
Why Your Grandmother’s Ivory Necklace is so Dangerous – Part 3
Age and legality of ivory revealed by carbon dating can fight poachers
Forensics Help Fight Ivory Fraudsters. Toggle navigation Enquire current. Contact Us. Buffalo Elephant Lion Leopard Rhinoceros. Forensics Help Fight Ivory Fraudsters The forensic technique of carbon dating can now be used to help catch law-breaking ivory dealers. It's not illegal to buy and sell antique ivory products - as long as the ivory in question dates back to before
University of Utah researchers developed a new weapon to fight poachers who kill elephants, hippos, rhinos and other wildlife. By measuring radioactive carbon deposited in tusks and teeth by open-air nuclear bomb tests, the method reveals the year an animal died, and thus whether the ivory was taken illegally. It was published online the week of July 1 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Not only can the method help wildlife forensics to combat poaching, but "we've shown that you can use the signature in animal tissues left over from nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere to study modern ecology and help us learn about fossil animals and how they lived," says Cerling, a distinguished professor of geology and geophysics, and biology at the University of Utah. The method uses the "bomb curve," which is a graph — shaped roughly like an inverted "V" — showing changes in carbon levels in the atmosphere — and thus absorbed by plants and animals in the food chain.
It is an analytical method to determine the age of organic material by considering the ratio of different carbon isotopes. It is based on the fact that the stable isotopes of carbon C consisting of 12 C and 13 C as well as the instable carbon isotope 14 C, which decays after the dead of a living being with a half life time of almost six thousands of years , are in the atmosphere. These carbon isotopes are taken up by plants and animals and integrated into their tissue during their lifetime.