Are there any skin impressions from plesiosaurs?
Question
I just read Allen Debus article on Kronosaurus in Fossil News v. 7, n. 3. He said that a Jurassic Pliosaur had been found with skin impressions. Iíve never heard about this, has anyone else? As far as I know there isnít any skin impression in sauropterygians.
Answer
As far as I'm aware there are no reported cases of skin impressions in any of the pliosaurs. The tail of Liopleurodon ferox is commonly reconstructed with a tail vane, but this is based on a specimen of the plesiosaur Plesiosaurus guilelmi imperatoris DAMES 1895 from the German Lias, in which soft tissue has apparently been preserved. However, the specimen may have been 'doctored' like some of the Holzmaden ichthyosaurs where a larger area of apparent soft part preservation has been shaped to give an expected outline.