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story.lead_photo.caption Westminster College students Sophia Hessenkemper, left, and Tim Burridge along with professor Dr. David Schmidt will discuss the triceratops skull their group found in South Dakota. Photo by Submitted by Westminster College

Dinosaur enthusiasts anywhere will have the opportunity next week to hear directly from the Westminster College team that recently excavated a triceratops skull.

Westminster College undergraduate students Colette Faiella, Sophia Hessenkemper and Tim Burridge and geology and environmental science professor David Schmidt will gather virtually for a livestreamed panel discussion and question-and answer-session noon-1 p.m. Thursday.

The speakers were part of the group that travelled to the Grand River National Grassland in South Dakota this summer to dig up fossils.

Schmidt has been leading trips to the area for seven years. Last year, Schmidt conducted a preliminary survey of a potential site. The team, which also included several former students, returned this summer to excavate.

They uncovered a massive triceratops skull, as well as ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones. The skull alone is nearly 7 feet long and weighs about 3,000 pounds.

The skull, named Shady for the Shadehill Recreation Area where the group camped, is now on the Westminster campus in Fulton.

On Thursday, the group will discuss the fossils as well as possible future plans for Shady.

The livestream will be viewable on the Westminster College website at, as well as on the Westminster College MO Facebook page at

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