Modern technologies are used in a new study published in PeerJ to understand the preservation of unusual ichthyosaur fossils better. Two new ichthyosaur specimens are the first in the last massive group of ichthyosaurs to retain exterior body shape. Their fossils have been discovered worldwide, and they are known for having a fish-like form similar to dolphins.
The Late Jurassic fossils from the Solnhofen area in Southern Germany are famous for including Archaeopteryx, the earliest bird, and countless other species, many of which were preserved with soft tissues in addition to bones and teeth, which is unusual in the fossil record.
The principal author, Lene Liebe Delsett and Jrn Hurum, have worked with marine reptiles at the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, for several years. Martina Kölbl-Ebert is a wildlife expert who specializes in the Solnhofen area. They collaborated with mineralogist Henrik Friis, who studied the soft tissue samples to determine what was present.