"Good, this is good. Here we are in the worst place in the world and we're not even being paid."
—Dr. Alan Grant(src)

Dr. Alan Grant is one of the main characters in the Jurassic Park franchise and the main protagonist in the first Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. He is a paleontologist who was invited by John Hammond to his dinosaur park, Jurassic Park. Alan is portrayed very differently over the various canons:

Film Canon

In Jurassic Park Alan Grant is a world renowned paleontologist working at a dig site just outside Snakewater, Montana. He is described in the script as:

DR ALAN GRANT, mid-thirties, a ragged-looking guy with intense concentration you wouldn't want to get in the way of. [1]

He is first seen at the dig site explaining archaelogy to a group of tourists, however a bratty little boy makes fun of his work. Grant silences the brat by explaining the fierceness of a raptor, later remarking he hates children. In his trailer, Grant is invited by John Hammond, founder and CEO of Ingen to a theme park known as Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. He and his partner Ellie Sattler accept the offer in exchange for a further three years of dig funding. When they arrive Grant is astonished by the sight of a living, breathing Brachiosaurus. The characters see how the DNA was extracted and then witness the birth of a Velociraptor.


"Mr. Hammond, the phones are working."

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Alan, Ellie, Lex and Tim

But the day quickly turns into an episode when the Tyrannosaurus rex escapes the paddock. While Lex Murphy and Tim Murphy are in danger when a Tyrannosaurus breaks free from a disabled electric fence (due to Dennis Nedry's sabotage), Dr. Grant remarks to himself that the frantic kids are drawing attention to themselves with a flashlight. He and Ian Malcolm attempt to lure the dinosaur away from the kids, which works, but now Dr. Grant and the children must flee to safety through a series of pitfalls. This includes evading a falling Ford Explorer down a 20 foot tree, running from a herd of Gallimimus and climbing over an electric fence. Lex is able to enter the Visitor Center's computer room and restart all of the systems in the park. Alan and the kids battle raptors but the T. rex kills the raptors before they can attack the protagonists and make it to the front of the Visitor Center where John picks them up. Dr. Grant also changed his attitude towards kids, seeing how the Murphy kids were more resourceful, courageous and moral than the kid he earlier experienced back in the States. Alan tells John that he has decided not to endorse his park and John agrees with this sentiment. They board a helicopter and leave the island, where Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler look over the island while Mr. Hammond gazes at his walking stick with the amber knob.

Jurassic Park III

Alan appears again in Jurassic Park III. The experience on Isla Nublar has left Alan somewhat openly jaded towards dinosaurs, nearly to the point of post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite this, he continues to work as a paleontologist, this time at a dig site near Fort Peck Lake, Montana. The dig is cripplingly underfunded however, due to public interest in recovering dinosaur fossils growing diminished after the revelation of InGen's cloned dinosaurs, which Grant openly refers to as "circus freaks" and "genetically engineered theme-park monsters", rather than true dinosaurs. His relationship with Ellie has ended, though they remain close friends. Now he has a new partner in Billy Brennan, his apparent protege, but it is Alan who must rein in Billy's headstrong and impulsive tendencies.

He visits Ellie and her family. In a way, he envies Ellie and her happy family and wonders why he shies away from marriage and fatherhood. He gives lectures on the intelligence of raptors. However, his listeners are only interested in the events in 1993 and the San Diego incident. He states that nothing could get him to go to The Five Deaths (Isla Sorna/SiteB). He is later bribed into going on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna by wealthy couple, Paul Kirby and Amanda Kirby. Alan invited his paleontology colleague Billy Brennan to accompany him on the trip.

While they are flying over the island, Alan notices that the pilot is going to land. Alan begins to protest but is knocked unconscious by Cooper, one of the mercenaries hired by the Kirbys. When Alan wakes up, they have landed on the island already. Then after a take off disrupted by a Spinosaurus, Alan and the others are stranded on the island. Alan soon discovers the truth that the Kirbys are not wealthy or married, but a divorced couple who were searching for their son, Eric, who was lost on the island eight weeks before, who sought Grant's help based on his adventures on Isla Nublar, unaware the island Eric had visited was Isla Sorna. Alan, using his knowledge of dinosaurs, survives with the Kirbys and an injured Billy, who had attempted to steal unhatched Raptor Eggs in the pursuit of funding for the dig site. Despite the traumatic events of the film, his love for dinosaurs is ultimately reinvigorated after once more experiencing them firsthand.


Jurassic Park

Early Tim & Lex

Concept art of Grant, Tim, and Lex, based on the novel; however, Grant does not have a beard

In the Jurassic Park novel Grant is described as a bearded, forty-year-old chief paleontologist from Montana. Earlier, many years before the events of the novel, Grant had a wife; however, she died, leaving him widowed. At the time of the InGen incident and the time of the publication of the book it can be assumed that Grant was born in either the year 1950 or 1949. Grant tells Tim Murphy that he is a widower. It is revealed that he helped describe the Maiasaura with Jack Horner. Interestingly, Grant is based on Horner himself - one of the scientific advisers for Jurassic Park - rather than on Bob Makela (1940-1987), Horner's co-author for Maiasaura.

Grant had uncovered a Velociraptor skeleton in Montana, when he was invited to Jurassic Park. It was there that he met Tim Murphy and supposedly becomes good friends with him. Tim Murphy is the man who confirmed the breeding problems of the Othnielia, Velociraptor, Maiasaura, Procompsognathus and Hypsilophodon.

Later, he witnesses the Tyrannosaurus escaping its paddock and attacking the remainder of the tour group. In the ensuing carnage Ian Malcolm is severely wounded when the Tyrannosaurus throws him in the air. Shortly following the attack, he escapes with John's grandchildren. Grant and the children successfully cross the Tyrannosaurus paddock and spend the night in a large tree. When they wake up, they cross over the perimeter fence, make it back to the visitor's center, and reunite with Ellie.

On returning to the Visitor Center, Grant realizes the Velociraptors had escaped. The laboratory holds syringes filled with deadly toxins in case the scientists ever needed to quickly kill a dinosaur. Knowing that Velociraptors probably were scavengers and would eat dinosaur eggs, Grant injects several incubating eggs with the poison and rolls them out toward the raptors. Two of the raptors die in this fashion (one ate the egg, the other took a bite of his comrade). However, the third raptor does not fall for this and Grant has to kill it by physically sticking it with the syringe. After Tim restores power, the living protagonists are saved.

Grant, together with Ellie, and Donald Gennaro, investigate an underground Velociraptor nest where they find a man-made underground chamber in which the raptors follow a strange pattern of order. The creatures go outside in response of the sound of helicopters. The Costa Rican air force has landed on the island and saves the survivors, but Hammond is not among them. Unbeknownst to the others, Hammond had been eaten alive by Procompsognathus. Grant then witnesses the Isla Nublar bombing and is detained by the Costa Rican government.

The Lost World

Grant is only mentioned very briefly in The Lost World when it is said that he proposed a theory that Tyrannosaurus rex could not function in the rain, and also that he spoke in conferences in Paris and Peking to Dr. Richard Levine about new Tyrannosaur fossil finds. This suggests that Grant and the other Isla Nublar incident survivors detained were released. The fact that Donald Gennaro died on a business trip supports this idea. He was also apparently bound to silence as well.

Jurassic Park inspired games

Comic books

Alan Grant is the main character in the comic series Jurassic Park: Raptor, Jurassic Park: Raptors Attack and Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack.

Dr. Grant's hat


Grant's hat

One of the most apparent characteristics of Dr. Grant is his fedora hat. In the first movie he always wears a hat, until it is blown from his head by the T. Rex. In Jurassic Park III he is again wearing a hat at the dig site, in the plane and at the island. He loses his hat in the Aviary while fleeing from the Pteranodons. At the end of the movie, when Billy and Alan meet again, Billy hands over Alan's hat. "I rescued your hat." Alan responds rather jokingly, "Well that's the important thing," and immediately puts it on his head.

Grant's habit to wear a hat and his devotion to it is not just an odd characteristic of Grant. For many paleontologists hats are very important. Jack Horner wrote about it in his book How to build a dinosaur:

"I can't say hats are as precious to paleontologists as they are to Texans, but they can be something of a signature, or talisman... Excavations are never, ever done in the shade. Where there is erosion and exposure, there is inevitable sun, and a hat, which is absolutely necessary, can gather memories and significance."[3]

Alan Grant's book

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Tim's book in the movies

In the various canons of the Jurassic Park Series Alan Grant writes a number of books.

The Lost World of the Dinosaurs

It is clear from the novel Jurassic Park that Dr. Grant argues that dinosaurs evolved into birds. Tim Murphy reads it and agrees with Grant, stating he had "Dinosaurs on the brain".

Dinosaur Detectives

Essentially the film's depiction of The Lost World of the Dinosaurs. The film states that it was fully illustrated and was not as big as Robert Bakker's book. Tim carries a copy of the book around on his trip to Isla Nublar. The book was written by Alan Grant and Michael Backes (Backes was a friend and an occasional collaborator with author Michael Crichton. Backes served as the Display Graphics Supervisor on the movie. In the novel, Michael Crichton also included Backes' name as Chief Programmer of Jurassic Park.). The book also had a foreword by the Lord Richard Attenborough, the actor who portrayed John Hammond.

In Jurassic Park Adventures: Survivor a couple of quotes from the book appear:

When (the sauropods) ate North America empty, to traveled south to South America until that was empty. They just ate themselves out of existence.

Many scientists believe the dinosaurs never really died out 65 million years ago. These scientists believe dinosaurs live on today - as birds. The dinosaurs were too large and their food supply is too small, so the dinosaurs became a likely example of natural selection - in short, they were forced to adapt or perish.

Book about Jurassic Park

In Jurassic Park III Eric mentions a book that Alan Grant wrote about the Isla Nublar Incident. Eric sensed from this book that Alan somewhat disliked dinosaurs after the incident.

Pteranodon book

At the end of Jurassic Park Adventures: Flyers Alan Grants says he's planning to write a book about Pteranodons and their attack of Universal Studios.


The following objects based on Alan Grant appear in the Jurassic Park merchandise:

An I.D. pass contains Dr. Grant's signature.

JP ID card grant

Dr. Alan Grant I.D. Pass

incomplete list


  • In the film, Grant dislikes the kids at first, contrary to the father-like figure in the first Jurassic Park novel.
  • Grant is based on Jack Horner, a real-life paleontologist that helped the movie crew in making dinosaurs based on facts and discoveries in the real world.
  • In the Novel Grant tells the kids he had a wife who died years prior to the novel, this is never mentioned in any of the movies or comics, though he is notably disgusted by Ian Malcolm's flippant attitude toward marriage, even giving him a dirty look when he remarks that he is, "Always on the lookout for another ex-Mrs. Malcolm."
  • Sam Neill speculated in 2016 that Alan Grant might be dead now.Yahoo Interview


"I hate computers."

"Try to imagine yourself in the Cretaceous Period. You get your first look at this "six foot turkey" as you enter a clearing. He moves like a bird, lightly, bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that maybe his visual acuity is based on movement like T-Rex - he'll lose you if you don't move. But no, not Velociraptor. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, [makes 'whooshing' sound] and the other two 'raptors you didn't even know were there. Because Velociraptor's a pack hunter, you see, he uses coordinated attack patterns and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this... a six-inch retractable claw, like a razor, on the middle toe. He doesn't bother to bite your jugular like a lion, say... no. He slashes at you here... or here... or maybe across the belly, spilling your intestines. The point is... you are alive when they start to eat you. So you know... try to show a little respect."

Alan: "Kids! You want to have one of those?"

Ellie: "I don't want that kid, but a breed of child, Dr. Grant, could be intriguing. I mean, what's so wrong with kids?"

Alan: "Oh, Ellie, look, they're noisy, they're messy, they're expensive."

Ellie: "Cheap... cheap..."

Alan: "They smell."

Ellie: "They do not smell!"

Alan: "Some of them smell."

Ellie: "Oh, give me a break!"

Alan: "Babies smell!"

Alan: "It's... It's a dinosaur" (near Brachiosaurus)

"Turn the light off, turn the light off" -' Grant after seeing Lex turn on a light moments after the T. rex escapes.

"IAN, FREEZE!" - to Dr. Malcolm

Lex: "He left us!"

Alan: "But that's not what's I'm gonna do."

"Well, the world has changed so radically, and we're all running to catch up. I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but look: Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by sixty-five million years of evolution have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?"

"Mr. Hammond, the phones are working" - to John Hammond

"Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I've decided NOT to endorse your park!" - to John Hammond

"Mr. Kirby, there's no such thing as Kirby Enterprises is there?" - to Paul Kirby

"If I lose you, it's just me and the damn tourists!" - to Billy Brennan

"Billy, as far as I'm concerned, you're no better than the people that built this place!"- to Billy Brennan

"Well, that's the important thing" - response to Billy saving his hat

(to the computer programmer in the 1st movie) "Where's the fun in that?"


  1. Jurassic Park script, scene 5.
  2. Mike Taylor Interview. Retrieved from
  3. How to build a dinosaur (the new science of reverse evolution), Jack Horner & James Gorman, pg. 122.
Jurassic Park Characters
Alan GrantEllie SattlerIan MalcolmJohn HammondDonald GennaroRobert MuldoonLex MurphyTim MurphyJohn Arnold/Ray ArnoldDennis NedryHenry WuLewis Dodgson
Jurassic Park III Characters
Alan GrantPaul KirbyAmanda KirbyEric KirbyBilly BrennanUdeskyM.B. NashCooperBen Hildebrand
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