Dr. Alan Grant is an American vertebrate paleontologist specializing in deinonychosaurian evolution and biology. He is best known for his widely-acclaimed 1992 book, Dinosaur Detectives, as well as his involvement with International Genetic Technologies in the 1993 and 2001 incidents on Costa Rican islands in the Gulf of Fernandez. As of 1993, he was the curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Hills in Hell’s Bells, Montana, and as of 2001, he was affiliated with the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.
Alan is a name of Northern European origin, introduced to the British Isles in the 11th century; it may have originally come from Norman French or Celtic. Its meaning is disputed, but possible meanings include “deer,” “noble,” “handsome,” or, perhaps most fittingly for Dr. Grant, “rock.” It may also refer to the Alans, a people who lived in what is now Russia. The surname Grant comes from Old French and Anglo-Norman, and means “tall” or “large.” Together, these suggest that Dr. Grant’s ancestry is largely French as well as British or Irish.
Dr. Grant’s exact date of birth is not known, but the Jurassic Park script states that he was in his mid-thirties as of 1993. This would place his birth year in approximately 1958.
He became interested in dinosaurs at a very early age. During his early childhood in the 1960s, many new fossil species were being discovered and named; by the 1970s, even more discoveries were made in places such as Africa and South America, and Dr. Jack Horner discovered the first dinosaur eggs known in the Western Hemisphere. When he was a child, Grant’s favorite dinosaur was Triceratops, one of North America’s most well-known ceratopsids.
Grant attained higher education in the paleontological field, though the institution he attended is currently not known; it may have been Montana State University in Bozeman, which is affiliated with the Museum of the Rockies which Grant is also associated with. If Grant attended MSU during the late 1980s, when he would have been in his late twenties, he would have likely studied under famed paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner. Grant does exhibit many Horner-like characteristics (including a strong sense of rivalry with Dr. Robert Bakker), suggesting that he highly respects Horner as an authority in his field.
Grant achieved a doctorate degree by the 1990s, specializing in deinonychosaurian paleobiology. He adhered to the classification system proposed by Gregory S. Paul in his 1988 book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, in which many dromaeosaurid deinonychosaurs were lumped together in the genus Velociraptor.
He worked with other paleontologists at dig sites, including paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. By the early 1990s, Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler were involved in a romantic relationship. However, Dr. Sattler was interested in eventually having children, while Dr. Grant was disinterested in starting a family and did not get along well with children at the time. He and Dr. Sattler did raise a macaw named Jack together, teaching the bird to speak.
By 1992 or early 1993, Dr. Grant had published a book coauthored by Michael Backes entitled Dinosaur Detectives. In it, he detailed much information about dinosaurs, how they lived and why they may have become extinct. The book was fully-illustrated and included a compelling argument for the theory that birds are a branch of theropod dinosaurs that survived the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. It also gave unique insight into the lives of the paleontologists themselves, and how they use fossil evidence to discover how ancient creatures lived. Grant’s book became a nationwide bestseller, gaining attention from both paleontologists and the general public.
Dinosaur Detectives was published by Perineum Press and Quinn & Ryan Publishers with a foreward by actor Sir Richard Attenborough, and was highly praised by other scientists such as Martin Kline of Columbia University. The book made Grant an internationally-known scientist by 1993. At some point he began to receive funding from Dr. John P. A. Hammond, CEO of International Genetic Technologies, Inc.; the runaway success of his book may have caught Hammond’s attention, but it is also possible that Hammond was already funding Grant and his book’s success reaffirmed Hammond’s choice to fund his expeditions.
One of the dig sites funded by Hammond was located near Snakewater, Montana; this dig site yielded excellently-preserved dromaeosaur fossils, which Grant classified in the genus Velociraptor (though they likely belonged to Deinonychus antirrhopus) as per Gregory S. Paul’s classification.
On June 7, 1993, John Hammond visited the Snakewater dig site where Dr. Grant was researching his dromaeosaurid specimens to invite him to tour a mysterious biological preserve on the small Pacific Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar with the intent to have him give his endorsement to InGen’s Board of Directors. While there, he extended the offer to Dr. Sattler despite her not originally being his intended guest. As Hammond had never made a personal appearance before, and they had just uncovered some exceptional specimens, Grant was initially reluctant to leave on the trip so suddenly; Hammond promised to continue funding Grant and Sattler’s digs for a further three years, at which point they both agreed to go. They departed from Snakewater to Choteau via Hammond’s helicopter, from which point they took a jet to Costa Rica. On June 11, they boarded another helicopter and flew westward to Isla Nublar.
While journeying to the island, they became acquainted with Hammond’s other guests, including another celebrity scientist, mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, and an InGen legal consultant named Donald Gennaro. Both Malcolm and Gennaro appeared to have more information about Hammond’s park than Grant or Sattler, but did not disclose what they knew. The group arrived to Isla Nublar from the southwest, approaching the island’s central valley area to land at a heliport.
They were taken by Jeep northward across the island. Upon reaching a large animal enclosure in roughly the middle of the island, Grant was astounded to learn that InGen had succeeded in performing de-extinction; the paddock was inhabited by living Brachiosaurus and Parasaurolophus, and Hammond revealed the existence of a Tyrannosaurus rex elsewhere on the island. Continuing on to Jurassic Park’s Visitors’ Centre, Grant and the others were informed on how InGen had managed to extract paleo-DNA from mosquitoes and other blood-drinking parasites found in Mesozoic amber samples. Grant and Sattler, along with Malcolm, left the tour partway through in order to see the laboratory in person, where they witnessed a hatching Velociraptor. Grant asked to see the adult raptors, suddenly concerned about the island’s safety upon discovering that these animals were housed there.
At the raptor holding pen, Grant became acquainted with the Park’s warden Robert Muldoon, who agreed with Grant that the raptors were highly dangerous animals due to their athleticism and intelligence. The group witnessed a live bull being fed to the raptors, which further sobered their opinion of the Park. Grant voiced his concerns to Hammond over lunch, explaining that animals so far separated in time could interact in unexpected ways. Grant’s concerns more or less echoed those of his fellow scientists, though they were less extreme than Malcolm’s criticisms of the Park.
After lunch, the tour group was joined by Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim Murphy, much to Grant’s disappointment as this meant he would have to interact with children. The group boarded the electric Ford Explorers used as tour vehicles, with Grant managing to get the children to join Gennaro in the lead Explorer while he remained in the rear Explorer with Drs. Malcolm and Sattler. Unfortunately, most of the tour was disappointing, as two of the dinosaurs (the Dilophosaurus and Tyrannosaurus) failed to show. As they passed by the Triceratops paddock, Grant noticed a gas Jeep in the field; he exited the Explorer to investigate. He was followed by the remainder of the group as the tour came to a halt. In the field, he found a sick Triceratops being treated by Park veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding. Despite his reservations about the Park, he was delighted to experience the animal up close, his childhood favorite bringing him back to when he first became interested in dinosaurs.
With the approach of a tropical storm, the tour was recalled; Dr. Sattler remained with Dr. Harding caring for the sick animal while Dr. Grant and the others returned to the Explorers. The vehicles were turned around to go back the way they had come, the rest of the tour to be completed the following day. During the thick of the storm, and unbeknownst to anyone in the tour group, a disgruntled employee shut down much of the power to the Park in order to steal InGen trade secrets; this shutdown included the entire animal paddock area, causing the Explorers to stall as they returned past the tyrannosaur paddock. The group decided to stay put and wait for the power to return, assuming that it was a brief outage caused by natural events.
As they waited, the Tyrannosaurus approached the fence to eat a goat which had been left to lure her out for the tourists some time before. While the animal ate, its arm brushed against the electric fence. The fence, being deactivated, failed to shock the animal. This caused it to realize its movement was no longer restricted by the fence, making the barrier useless. The dinosaur pushed its way out through the fence to explore its new territory; Gennaro fled the vehicle in the front when he realized the animal was attempting escape. Grant, having subscribed to the theory that tyrannosaur vision was movement-based, advised Malcolm to remain still, but had no means to communicate this to the children in the other vehicle.
The dinosaur was drawn to the front vehicle by a flashlight the children were using, and it attempted to break inside. Grant, unable to stand by while the children were in danger, lit a road flare and used it to draw the animal away from the Explorer. Malcolm tried to follow Grant’s lead, drawing the dinosaur farther away so that Grant could safely get the children out of the damaged vehicle. This effort ended disastrously, as Malcolm was grievously wounded and Gennaro was killed. Grant, the sole remaining adult, was left alone to pull the children out.
He was able to free Lex, but Tim remained trapped; the tyrannosaur returned to them, and Grant kept them still. The tyrannosaur, frustrated that they were no longer moving, pushed the Explorer over a cliff into the adjoining paddock area; Grant and Lex rappelled down the side of the paddock wall using a broken fence cable, and the Explorer became stuck in a large tree. Calming Lex down, Grant scaled the tree to retrieve Tim, who was injured but alive. In the process of getting him out, he caused the vehicle to fall from the tree, but both Grant and Tim avoided further injury. Grant lost his hat during the attack, and never recovered it.
Using a brochure map obtained from the Explorer, Grant led the children westward toward the Visitors’ Centre where he hoped to regroup with the others. They were able to get out of the tyrannosaur paddock, but in order to get to safety as quickly as possible, they did not utilize the tour road but instead cut through the northern herbivore paddock. As the storm passed and night fell, they climbed into a large Moreton Bay fig to spend the night, accompanied by the Park’s Brachiosaurus herd. Grant did not sleep, staying awake to keep the children safe and comfortable.
On the morning of June 12, Grant and the children fed a sick Brachiosaurus and ventured through the former Velociraptor paddock on their journey westward. Here, they made a vital discovery; before they were removed to the holding pen, the Velociraptors had bred, and a nest of eggs had hatched. Fresh footprints indicated that the eggs had hatched after the storm, within the past few hours. Grant theorized that the raptors, which were genetically modified using genes from a West African species of frog, were capable of protogyny which they used to breed despite being in a single-sex environment.
The group continued through one of the herbivore paddocks, witnessing the tyrannosaur hunt and eat a Gallimimus. By this point, the Visitors’ Centre was only a short distance away. While crossing the twenty-four-foot perimeter fence around the animal paddock area, the power was turned back on by an unsuspecting Dr. Sattler from the maintenance shed; Tim was electrocuted as the fence powered up, but fortunately was only stunned. Grant attempted CPR; he administered it improperly, but Tim resumed breathing within a few seconds and regained consciousness despite Grant’s mistaken attempt.
Grant led the children the rest of the way to the Visitors’ Centre, leaving them in the dining area where he assumed they would be safe. He then searched the visitor compound for Dr. Sattler, reuniting with her near the maintenance shed. She updated him on what had happened: the Park had been sabotaged, and their attempt to restart the system had inadvertently released the adult Velociraptors. Malcolm had been rescued the previous night and was alive, but Robert Muldoon and the Park’s chief engineer Ray Arnold had been hunted down and killed by the raptors. The alpha raptor was contained inside the maintenance shed, but the remaining two were still loose. Realizing that the children could be in danger, Grant and Sattler made for the emergency bunker to arm themselves and then headed to the Visitors’ Centre.
In the Centre, they found the children fleeing the kitchen with a raptor in pursuit (the other had been locked inside a walk-in freezer). The four retreated to the control room, where Grant held off the raptor as Lex worked to undo the sabotage. Lex succeeded, locking the raptor out and restoring all the Park’s systems. Grant called Hammond from the control room, informing him of their success and telling him to call a rescue helicopter. As he did, the raptor positioned itself to break through the window into the room; Grant attempted to shoot it, but missed. His gun jammed due to an extractor malfunction, so he discarded it as they escaped into the ventilation shafts as the raptor broke into the control room.
Grant led the group through the air ducts toward where he presumed the Centre’s rotunda was located, pursued by the raptor along the way. Upon reaching the rotunda, they found that they only way down from the ventilation was by means of the construction scaffolding; the raptor caught up to them at this point, forcing them to climb down using the fossil display in the middle of the rotunda. The alpha raptor entered the Centre through an unfinished wall, joining its fellow in cornering the four humans. As the alpha moved in for the kill, it was ambushed by the Tyrannosaurus, which had been stalking the raptor; this inadvertently saved Grant and the others as the final raptor attacked the tyrannosaur in an act of fury.
Grant and the others were picked up in a jeep by Hammond and Malcolm, who drove them to the heliport. By the time they arrived, a helicopter had already landed to rescue them, and they boarded to escape the island.
Aftermath of the Nublar incident
Having nearly been killed by dinosaurs, Grant suffered psychologically after the incident. He showed signs of post-traumatic stress brought on by being reminded of it; nonetheless, he refused to abandon his study of dinosaurs, and doubled down on his deinonychosaur research. This put a strain on his relationship with Dr. Sattler, who was likewise traumatized but needed to distance herself from dinosaurs in order to recover.
At some point, Grant purchased a new hat to replace the one he lost.
Grant honored his nondisclosure agreement with InGen, refusing to speak to the public about what had happened on the island. He did inform InGen that the dinosaurs were breeding, though it was assumed that the lysine contingency would kill the survivors. Grant’s decision to honor InGen’s nondisclosure agreement had ulterior motives; he had recognized during the incident that de-extinction had the power to end traditional paleontology as a respected field of science.
In 1995, Dr. Malcolm violated his nondisclosure agreement and spoke to the press in a television interview about Jurassic Park. While the public largely dismissed Malcolm as a fraud thanks to the efforts of InGen’s Peter Ludlow, Grant and Sattler were still suddenly pushed into the spotlight. Their relationship ended around this time; Malcolm’s interview and the fallout resulting from it may have been the final straw in the wedge that pushed Grant and Sattler apart. Sattler kept Jack, the pet macaw they had raised together.
De-extinction as public knowledge
Two years after Malcolm’s disastrous interview, Jurassic Park once more made the news: a fully-grown male Tyrannosaurus rex was loosed in San Diego, California in an incident perpetrated in part by Ludlow and in part by Hammond’s interference. This irrefutable evidence proved to the public that Malcolm was not a fraud, but made Grant’s fear of obsolescence a reality. Not only had the dinosaurs survived on a second island, they were thriving, and the public was now fully aware of their existence and more interested in them than traditional paleontology.
Following the San Diego incident on May 23, 1997, Grant’s career suffered. He continued to research deinonychosaurs in the Montana badlands; by 2001, he was working for the Museum of the Rockies and had uncovered excellently-preserved dromaeosaurid remains near Fort Peck Lake, Montana. By this time, he had taken up a young protégé named Billy Brennan, despite the poor funding they received for the dig (if Hammond honored his promise to fund Grant’s digs for a further three years, this money would have run out in 1996, a year before Hammond’s removal as InGen CEO and his subsequent death).
Grant’s frustration with the public grew over time. He came to blame InGen’s dinosaurs for the decline of traditional paleontology more than InGen itself, which was reflected in a second book he wrote sometime after 1997. This book was said by some fans to be inferior to Dinosaur Detectives, lacking the original’s unbridled love for dinosaurs and the science used to learn about them. Grant traveled around the United States lecturing about paleontology, particularly his new discoveries regarding the intelligence and communication methods of dromaeosaurids. However, when it came time for his audiences to ask questions, they invariably asked about Jurassic Park, San Diego, and Isla Sorna.
Throughout this time, Grant did remain friends with Sattler. Sometime before 1998, she married U.S. State Department official Mark Degler, and by 1998 they had a child named Charlie. In 2000 or 2001, they had a second child, and by that time resided in Washington, D.C.
On July 16, 2001, Dr. Grant was in Washington lecturing at Georgetown University about recent discoveries he and Brennan had made regarding dromaeosaur evolution. As he was accustomed to, most of the members of the audience had questions about the Isla Nublar or San Diego incidents, which he dismissed. Others asked if he would be willing to go to Isla Sorna to study its de-extinct life in the wild, which he also dismissed; he stated in no uncertain terms that InGen’s animals were genetically-engineered “theme park monsters” and that he did not believe them to hold any real paleontological value. While there, he visited the Degler family at their home, seeing Jack for the first time in years. He returned to Fort Peck Lake that night.
Upon his return to the Fort Peck Lake dig site on July 17, 2001, Dr. Grant was approached by a man named Paul Kirby who apparently had found him through Brennan. Kirby claimed to run a company called Kirby Enterprises; he arranged a meeting with Grant and Brennan at the Hell Creek Bar & Grill in nearby Jordan, Montana where they met Paul’s wife Amanda Kirby. The Kirbys claimed to have permission from the Costa Rican government to fly lower over Isla Sorna than anyone else, and offered Grant and Brennan any sum of money to act as tour guides. Desperate for money to fund his research, Grant reluctantly agreed.
On July 18, Grant and Brennan departed for Isla Sorna in a chartered flight piloted by M. B. Nash; also in the group were two men named Cooper and Udesky, who claimed to be friends of the Kirbys. After several hours, they arrived at Isla Sorna and circled around to approach from the west of the island. In spite of his ill feelings toward the dinosaurs, Grant was thrilled to see a herd of his old favorite Triceratops, as well as a burgeoning population of various other species. As they flew inland, however, the crew began to discuss landing at the island’s airstrip; Grant became agitated and tried to stop the landing, but was knocked unconscious by a blow to the back of the head from Cooper.
By the time Grant recovered, the airplane had already landed. Brennan brought him up to speed; it appeared that the Kirbys were searching for someone who was already on the island. As the Kirbys’ supposed friends went to set up an armed perimeter around the airfield, Amanda was heard calling through a megaphone for people named “Eric” and “Ben.” Grant tried to stop the operation, but by the time he was able to get the Kirbys’ attention, Amanda’s calling had attracted the attention of a large animal. Grant did not recognize its cry from his past experience, but based on its volume estimated that it was larger than a Tyrannosaurus. Gunfire and roaring could be heard in the forest, and Nash and Udesky retreated moments later. They made a hasty attempt to take off, interrupted by a wounded Cooper emerging onto the runway. Nash was unable to stop the airplane to pick him up, and the injured man lured the unknown predator onto the runway; despite Nash’s attempt to lift off, he did not have enough time to get the plane high enough and struck a glancing blow off the animal’s back. The airplane swung off course and crashed into the nearby jungle, suspended in the trees. This left the survivors stranded.
Moments later, the animal returned to attack the vehicle in response to being hit. Nash was killed and eaten while attempting to call for rescue using their satellite phone. The airplane fell from the trees, permitting the survivors to escape; while the attack took place, Grant was able to get a good enough look at the animal to discern its species: Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, which he did not recognize from InGen’s list. The group fled from the scene of the crash, stumbling into a kill site presided over by a young adult male Tyrannosaurus; this second predator chased them away in defense of its food, but ultimately was forced to abandon the chase as it was challenged by the Spinosaurus. While the predators fought, Grant managed to escape being crushed between them and escaped along with the others.
Grant confronted Paul about the truth of their mission. Paul was forced to come clean; he and Amanda were neither wealthy nor truly a couple. Rather, they were divorcees, Paul being the manager of a small interior decorating company while Amanda was the girlfriend of a web design entrepreneur who was among the two missing people. The other missing person was Eric Kirby, the eleven-year-old son of Paul and Amanda. Both of them had gone missing eight weeks prior during an illegal parasailing tour of Isla Sorna, and the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica had declined to help with any rescue operation. Paul had reached out to Grant as an act of desperation, hoping that Grant’s experience with the island would help them rescue Eric. Unfortunately, Paul had made a grave error: he was unaware that there were two islands that InGen had used for de-extinction, and assumed that Grant had been on Isla Sorna before. With the knowledge that they would not be receiving the money they were promised, Grant decided to make for the coast and signal for rescue.
Shortly after the revelation, the group discovered the parasailing crash site. Here they recovered a video camera with footage revealing that Eric survived the crash; Brennan pulled the parasail down from the trees, which dislodged a skeletal corpse identified as Amanda’s boyfriend Ben Hildebrand. This meant that Eric, if he was still alive, was alone. Nearby, the group discovered a Velociraptor nesting site; Grant led the group away, though they briefly lost track of Brennan.
They spotted the Embryonics, Administration, and Laboratories Compound from afar, heading into the facility to try and radio the mainland for help. The phone lines were dead, making the facility useless in terms of rescue. They entered the production floor, with Grant experiencing a mixture of horror and disgust at the evidence of cloning and genetic experimentation in the room. While there, they were ambushed by a male Velociraptor; Grant and the others fled into the kennels, where they were able to shut the raptor behind a cage door. The animal made a call that Grant was not familiar with; in a moment of realization, he identified the sound as a cry for help. Knowing that the raptor’s packmates would not be far behind, he led the survivors into the forest to escape.
They fled into a field where Grant had them run through a herd of hadrosaurs to lose the raptors. The herd panicked, stampeding away; Grant was separated from the others, though he was able to rescue Brennan’s camera bag. While hiding in the woods nearby, Grant overheard two raptors having what could be described as a conversation; he recognized the raptors’ search pattern, which suggested they were looking for something rather than simply hunting. Grant suddenly found himself surrounded by most of the pride, the alpha female coming to confront him. He was rescued by an unknown figure that tossed gas canisters among the raptors, driving them off.
Led by his rescuer to a tanker truck partially submerged in a marsh, Grant found that it was Eric himself who had saved him. Eric was surprised to learn that both his parents were on the island working together, and that they had recruited a renowned paleontologist to help. Grant, likewise, was astounded that Eric was still alive, and impressed at the resourcefulness Eric had demonstrated in order to survive the island. They spent the night in the tanker truck, keeping safe from the local animal life.
On the morning of July 19, Grant and Eric departed the tanker truck to try and find the others. As they searched, they spotted a transport barge within the island’s central river, separated from them by a steep canyon wall. Grant and Eric made their way for it. While traveling, they overheard the sound of Paul’s satellite phone, Eric recognizing it as the Kirby Paint and Tile, Plus commercial jingle. They were drawn to the sound, and Eric’s excited shouting drew Brennan and the Kirbys to them. Udesky had died by this point. Grant was pleased to see that Brennan had survived, but suspicious about Brennan’s sudden protectiveness over his camera bag. The sound of their joyous reunion also drew the attention of the Spinosaurus, which chased them into a nearby observatory building.
Inside, Grant discovered the reason for Brennan’s strange behavior. His camera bag contained two stolen Velociraptor eggs from the nests they had discovered the previous day, and Grant reasoned that this was why the raptors were tailing them. Angry with Billy for his reckless behavior but understanding that the eggs could be used as leverage, he decided not to destroy them. They descended into the structure, finding the way into the canyon by means of catwalks and stairwells. Part of the stairs collapsed as they tried to use it, prompting them to cross a bridge to find another way down. Amanda and Grant crossed safely; Eric was confronted by an unknown animal. Grant identified pterosaur droppings on the metal structure, and as the morning fog lifted, he realized they were inside an aviary inhabited by genetically-engineered Pteranodons.
One of the animals attempted to feed Eric to its offspring, prompting Grant and the others to chase after it. Brennan used the recovered parasail to rescue Eric, while the pterosaur broke into the catwalk to confront Grant and the Kirbys. Grant attempted to fight it off, but the combined weight of the three humans and one pterosaur caused the catwalk to collapse and deposit them all into the river. The collapsing catwalk crushed the Pteranodon, thought Grant and the Kirbys survived. Brennan returned Eric to them, but was taken down by the remaining adult pterosaurs and washed away down the river as they mauled him. Grant and Paul escaped the aviary by swimming underneath its border, while Amanda and Eric fled by land through the gate. Grant lost his hat in the river while escaping the aviary.
They used the barge to travel south along the river toward the coast, Eric comforting Grant about losing Brennan. As they talked, they passed a field inhabited by a few groups of dinosaurs, and Grant began to realize that the damage to his career was not really their fault; he began to gain a new appreciation for them despite their genetic modifications.
Night fell on the island again as they traveled south, stopping at one point when they heard the ringing of Paul’s satellite phone. Grant and the others recovered it from a large pile of spinosaur dung, along with some of Nash and Cooper’s remains. The caller, unfortunately, was simply advertising a timeshare and was of no help. With only enough power left for one call, the group opted not to waste the opportunity and held off on calling anyone until the next morning. They continued southward, spending the night on the river where they could be safe from terrestrial predators.
In the morning on July 20, a fierce thunderstorm struck the island, reducing visibility and slowing their journey. While the storm raged, the group encountered the Spinosaurus on its home turf in the river near an unfinished marina. The dinosaur tore the barge apart while Grant and the others took refuge in the barge’s dinosaur cage. Grant managed to get a call through on the satellite phone to Dr. Degler, though he was unable to relay much information before the barge was sunk.
Gasoline had been spilled on the river when the spinosaur attacked the barge, and while Paul distracted the animal from atop a crane, Grant used a flare gun to ignite the gasoline and frighten the dinosaur away. Paul was nearly killed in the attack, but ultimately all four survived.
The storm abated as the group neared the ocean. As they grew close, they were ambushed by the raptors, who had finally caught up. Grant retrieved the eggs as the alpha female challenged Amanda, believing her to be the humans’ leader and therefore in possession of the eggs. As he gave the eggs to Amanda, Grant realized that Brennan had also packed a prototype model of a dromaeosaur resonating chamber he and Grant had developed in Montana. Grant used the model to imitate the raptors’ calls, making their help cry at Paul’s suggestion. Coincidentally, a helicopter passed by almost immediately afterward; the raptors believed that the helicopter was responding to Grant’s call and fled with their eggs.
Following the sound of the helicopter toward the coast, Grant and the Kirbys found a government agent calling for them. The United States Navy and Marine Corps had arrived to the island at the behest of Mark and Ellie Degler, having swept the river in search of the survivors. Grant was shocked to discover that the military had recovered Brennan severely wounded but alive, and that Brennan had been lucid enough to pull Grant’s missing hat from the river.
Grant and the others were flown by helicopter off of Isla Sorna, witnessing three Pteranodons escape the island. The military brought them to an aircraft carrier, which returned them to the United States.
Aftermath of the Kirby incident
Due to the fact that he was brought to Isla Sorna against his will, Grant would have been the only member of the party not guilty of any crime. Unlike the 1993 incident, this gained him less notoriety for a singular reason: Isla Sorna had been illegally used by InGen for research purposes between 1998 and 1999, and Grant had witnessed some of the results firsthand. Much information about the incident, except for what was eventually published in Eric’s autobiographical book Survivor, was buried by government officials paid off by InGen’s new parent company Masrani Global Corporation.
According to the Jurassic Park Adventures series of junior novels, which may or may not be canon at the discretion of Universal Studios and relevant franchise authorities, Grant would go on to implore the United Nations to establish a research facility on Isla Sorna and an international bureau to protect de-extinct animal life. Until these aspects of Grant’s life are confirmed by a franchise authority, they are considered soft-canon and are discussed on Alan Grant’s (J/N) page.
In any case, Grant was no longer involved with Isla Sorna by 2005, when the last of the island’s de-extinct animals were rescued from a population collapse encouraged by InGen’s illegal research during the late 1990s. They were transported to Isla Nublar, where they were prepared for exhibition in a resurrected form of Hammond’s Jurassic Park, now called Jurassic World.
The age of neopaleontology
In the year 2000, shortly before Grant’s second run-in with InGen, the company’s researchers Curtis and Bridges working under Dr. Henry Wu discovered that paleo-DNA owed its abnormal longevity to stores of particular iron structures that reduced the rate of decay. This enabled them to predict with much greater accuracy which fossilized remains would be good sources of DNA, and allowed them to extract it from sources other than amber. In particular, a Mosasaurus fossil was found to contain viable DNA. This ushered in a new age of paleontological science, called neopaleontology.
Fossils were considered valuable again, but not due to the knowledge that could be obtained from observing their anatomical details or geographic location. Now, they were considered as a source of DNA; their destinations were no longer museums, but genetic laboratories. Grant’s fossil finds could still be a source of profit in the early 2000s, but the change in scientific methodology meant that his career would still be seriously impacted.
In 2002, Simon Masrani (CEO of Masrani Global Corporation) announced that he would be reattempting Jurassic Park using the knowledge that had been gained about de-extinct life over the past nine years. This new project, called Jurassic World, would focus both on using the animals as a source of edutainment and on researching them to learn more about their biology. Much of Grant and Brennan’s research into raptor intelligence was sourced by Masrani Global for this purpose, as InGen Security had already formed plans for the raptors’ future. How much Grant was compensated for his contributions is not known, but it is doubtful that he was willingly supportive of InGen’s plans to use raptors for their own purposes.
Jurassic World opened its gates on May 30, 2005 and had 98,120 visitors in its first month alone, making it a huge success. Jurassic World’s popularity would remain consistently high for ten years, further waning the public’s interest in traditional paleontology. Discoveries were made by paleogeneticists years ahead of scientists like Dr. Grant, with InGen’s researchers learning more about prehistoric life in those few years than in the whole of the past century. By 2015, Grant’s profession was largely obsolete.
On December 18, 2015, Jurassic World closed due to an incident involving the escape of a genetically modified hybrid animal and a large pterosaur flock. The public’s opinion on dinosaurs became heavily divided after this incident, with some believing that de-extinct life should have the same protections as naturally extant organisms while others believed that de-extinct life posed an immediate, existential threat to the natural order or even (as proposed by some alarmists) human civilization itself. The issue of de-extinct animal rights was exacerbated in 2017 and 2018, when Isla Nublar became threatened by volcanic activity. Up until the eruption on June 23, 2018, the public and world governments viciously debated what, if anything, should be done. Despite his own conflicting opinions on de-extinction, Dr. Grant did not make any public comment about the controversy.
Details about Dr. Grant’s later life are currently undisclosed. His actor, Sam Neill, at one point suggested (albeit sarcastically) that Grant may have left the paleontological field or died. However, in 2019 Neill recanted on this statement and said that he believed Grant was both alive and still working on his career.
A degree-holding paleontologist, Dr. Grant is highly knowledgeable on many topics of vertebrate evolution. His main area of expertise is in deinonychosaur paleobiology, though as of 2001 he still subscribed to Gregory S. Paul’s 1988 classification system in which many species are lumped together under the genus Velociraptor. This means that many of Grant’s “Velociraptor” specimens are, by more modern paleontological opinion, not this genus at all. Modern paleontologists only recognize two species of Velociraptor, both found in Mongolia; the fossil specimens discovered by Dr. Grant in Montana, USA are almost certainly Deinonychus antirrhopus. Nonetheless, Dr. Grant is known for having discovered exquisitely-preserved deinonychosaurian remains over the course of his career, including some which provide strong evidence for social behavior in these animals.
Dr. Grant was also familiar with theories regarding the evolution of birds, and causes of extinction throughout the Mesozoic. In his book Dinosaur Detectives, he suggested that some dinosaurs had died out due to dwindling food sources, particularly the sauropods. He similarly believed that a massive impact at the end of the Cretaceous period had caused the mass extinction event at that time, causing all but the smallest dinosaurs to die out; in his book, he argued that natural selection had spared only the birds from extinction due to their small size. While the idea of birds being a part of the dinosaur family tree was not new in the early 1990s, it had yet to truly become a part of the public’s perception of dinosaurs; Grant’s book helped to popularize this well-supported theory.
Some of his paleontological theories have been met with some controversy; for example, he posits that deinonychosaurs may have been more intelligent than modern birds, cetaceans, and primates. This theory is highly influenced by Grant’s experience with InGen specimens, which are considered to be more intelligent than their fossil counterparts. In actuality, there is little evidence to suggest that any dinosaur was more intelligent than small mammals in the modern day. Grant also subscribes to the theory that tyrannosaur vision was movement-based, with the animals unable to distinguish a stationary object from the background. While InGen specimens seem to confirm this theory, InGen’s own Dr. Laura Sorkin hypothesized that this attribute was a byproduct of genetic engineering rather than a natural feature.
Grant’s research primarily focuses on vertebrate paleontology, but his work with other leading experts in the field have likely brought him knowledge from other branches of this science. He worked closely with paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (currently Dr. Ellie Degler) in the 1990s, making it likely that he learned much about ancient plant life from her. Likewise, he is known to have been familiar with Juanito Rostagno, a geologist working out of the Dominican Republic, who had a substantial body of knowledge about amber inclusions.
Contemporary animal biology
Along with his knowledge of ancient animal life, Dr. Grant is familiar with the evolutionary adaptations featured in many modern animal species. For example, he had learned about the process of protogyny occurring in Hyperolius viridiflavus (though he did not identify the species, simply stating that it occurred in “some West African frogs), which was a fairly new discovery in 1993. He also appears to be familiar with vertebrate embryology, showing a detailed understanding of the process during his tour of the Jurassic Park facilities. Grant was also, in 2001, able to identify bonitos at a glance.
Due to extensive fieldwork experience, Dr. Grant has considerable athletic ability. He is able to walk fairly long distances on foot and climb several types of structures, both of which are useful skills in the Montana badlands. During his run-ins with InGen’s de-extinct animals, his strength has helped him survive and protect his friends; he has been seen to fend off a Velociraptor and a Pteranodon on separate occasions.
Dr. Grant rarely uses firearms, but is capable with them. During the 1993 incident, he wielded a Franchi SPAS-12 with confidence. However, he was unable to hit a Velociraptor at close range, and made no attempt to clear a stovepipe jam and instead abandoned the weapon.
Writing and public speaking
In the early 1990s, Dr. Grant published Dinosaur Detectives, a nonfiction book about paleontology that became a nationwide bestseller acknowledged by scientists, celebrities, and the public as a valuable insight into the world of paleontologists. Following the book’s success, Dr. Grant often gave lectures at universities around the United States; even after the San Diego incident of 1997 revealed de-extinction to the public, Grant continued to travel giving lectures about his newest discoveries and theories. He eventually wrote a second book, this one openly discussing Jurassic Park and InGen’s work; this book was less positively received, with some readers considering it overly negative in its discussion of dinosaurs.
Skill with children
While Dr. Grant was uncomfortable around children during much of his adult life, his experience in the 1993 incident on Isla Nublar did soften his opinion of them. After rediscovering his childhood favorite dinosaur in the flesh, Grant became more empathetic toward the Murphy children, and fought to protect them as they later journeyed through the dinosaur paddocks toward safety. While he never had children of his own, he showed great skill at bonding with children later on; he encouraged Dr. Degler’s son Charlie to become interested in dinosaurs and science, and became fast friends with one of his young fans, Eric Kirby. In general, it seems that Grant’s reluctance to interact with children was mostly due to his hesitance to start a family of his own.
Skill with animals
Perhaps as a result of his line of work, Dr. Grant did well with animals and understood their needs and biology. He and Dr. Sattler raised a blue-and-gold macaw named Jack together, even teaching him to speak; he was still in good health as of 2001. During the 1993 incident, Dr. Grant was quick to befriend a herd of Brachiosaurus while staying in their paddock, communicating with them and feeding one. He also was able to empathize with a pride of Velociraptors during the 2001 incident, understanding their motivations and attempting to communicate with them using a replica of their resonating chambers.
Dr. Grant was, as of 2001, a very capable swimmer even when under duress. His athletic ability owing to his life of field research likely contributed to his strong swimming skills.
As of 2001, Dr. Grant had a valid United States drivers’ license, and he is capable of driving a vehicle with manual transmission.
One of the fields in which Dr. Grant is unskilled is the use of technology. Part of this is due to his belief that technological advancements in paleontology are taking the fun out of his work; the use of ground-penetrating sonar, for example, is now used to locate and take images of fossils that have not been excavated. Even normal computers pose a challenge for Grant, whose knowledge of computer technology seems to have stagnated sometime in the late 1980s. When technology becomes a necessary part of his work, he usually relies on younger associates such as Billy Brennan.
Dr. Grant has made his opinion clear on a number of paleontological theories. He has strongly argued in favor of the status of birds as theropod dinosaurs, and that food scarcity selected for smaller body size in dinosaurs during the end of the Cretaceous period. He also argues that sauropods migrated from North America to South America in search of food, becoming extinct due to food scarcity in a manner similar to many of the larger dinosaurs at the end of the Mesozoic.
Many of Dr. Grant’s theories pertain to deinonychosaurian theropods, particularly the dromaeosaurs he classifies as Velociraptor. As he ascribes to Gregory S. Paul’s classification system, Grant considers many other dromaeosaur genera such as the North American Deinonychus to be different species of Velociraptor, which most paleontologists would disagree with. Other controversial theories he proposes include his famous theory on deinonychosaurian intelligence; based on the complexity of their communication and social lives (based both on his own discoveries and InGen specimens), he believes that they were more intelligent than modern-day birds, cetaceans, and primates. This is not supported throughout the scientific community, especially as humans are a type of primate. However, Grant has discovered compelling evidence for social behavior in fossil deinonychosaurs.
Dr. Grant, as of 1993, also endorsed the theory that Tyrannosaurus rex was unable to distinguish stationary objects from their backgrounds. While the fossil evidence to support this theory is very scant, InGen’s cloned tyrannosaurs did exhibit this trait. There is evidence to suggest that InGen’s specimens only had this trait due to gene splicing involved in their creation.
In general, Grant’s approach to paleontology can be considered Hornerian, in line with paleontologist Jack Horner. This contrasts with Bakkerian paleontological methodology, in line with paleontologist Robert T. Bakker; Grant has openly expressed dislike for Dr. Bakker and his theories, viewing him as a competitor as do many Hornerian paleontologists.
In terms of evolution, Dr. Grant considers intelligence to be the best example of evolutionary fitness. This led him in 2001 to propose a satirical theory of “Reverse Darwinism,” or the “survival of the most idiotic.” If low intelligence (or rather, foolish behavior) is the reverse form of Darwinian fitness, then high intelligence (or wise behavior) would naturally be the most ideal trait to possess in terms of evolution by natural selection. However, in reality, many evolutionary traits can bring greater or lesser fitness, and intelligence is only one of them. Unintelligent organisms such as jellyfish have thrived for hundreds of millions of years; Grant equating foolish behavior with a low capacity for intelligent thought is, therefore, inaccurate.
Dr. Grant has had a difficult and conflicting relationship with de-extinction. He was astounded and thrilled when he first discovered that it had been accomplished, and was particularly excited that it supported scientific theories about homeothermy and social behavior in dinosaurs. The sometimes cavalier approach that InGen took toward its animals was upsetting to Grant, though; he was concerned about their cloning of Velociraptors, animals which he believed were too dangerous to be allowed to coexist with humans.
Though Grant remained excited about the potential to see living dinosaurs, he remained aware that their existence threatened his paleontological career. Following the 1993 incident, his view on de-extinction soured considerably. In 2001, he openly referred to InGen’s animals as monstrosities, stating that their status as genetically modified organisms made them useless to paleontological research. His views were softened during the 2001 incident, as he came to realize that while InGen had assuredly damaged his career, the dinosaurs themselves were innocent in this respect as they were simply existing as their instincts told them to.
On scientific discipline
Like his colleague Dr. Ellie Degler, Dr. Grant is a supporter of the precautionary principle, believing that scientific research should be approached carefully and with forethought rather than advancing for the sake of discovery. His views are not as extreme as those of Dr. Ian Malcolm, who has expressed open opposition to some forms of scientific discovery. Nonetheless, he was accused by John Hammond as expressing Luddite tendencies with regards to science. In reality Dr. Grant’s views are not truly conservative enough to be comparable to Neo-Luddism, though he does show hesitance toward the development of new technologies.
In his paleontological career, Dr. Grant has opposed the use of new technology. As of 1993, computer-assisted sonic topography was being used to image fossils that were still uncovered, enabling paleontologists to observe these remains without excavating them. Grant, while willing to tolerate use of such devices by his colleagues, was still opposed to it, believing that it might one day take the enjoyment out of his work. He has long been viewed by his colleagues as technologically impaired, as copmuters often malfunction when he attempts to use them. As of 2001, Grant’s digs did not utilize computer-assisted sonic topography, though his colleague Billy Brennan made use of a rapid prototyping device to manufacture replicas of dinosaurian fossil remains.
The development of neopaleontology as a field of science during the twenty-first century continued to threaten Dr. Grant’s personal methods, with some people believing that new fields such as iron analysis and paleogenetics would ultimately replace the physical excavation and study of fossilized remains.
On children and family
In 1993, Dr. Grant expressed discomfort around children and a strong opposition to having any of his own. It appears that the former was heavily influenced by the latter; Dr. Grant’s hesitancy about having children almost certainly led to his dislike of them in general. During the incident on Isla Nublar that year, he encountered a Triceratops which brought back childhood memories of when he first became interested in dinosaurs, and circumstances of the incident forced him to protect the Murphy children from danger. These events softened Grant’s view of children, though he did not end up having any of his own. By 2001, Grant was entirely comfortable working with children, encouraging Dr. Degler’s son’s interest in dinosaurs and becoming friends with the twelve-year-old Eric Kirby, who was a fan of Dinosaur Detectives.
Dr. Ellie Sattler Degler
Alan Grant was in a romantic relationship with Dr. Ellie Sattler during the early 1990s, and also worked with her in a professional capacity. Her expertise as a paleobotanist complemented his own knowledge of vertebrate paleontology, and vice versa; this made them an excellent pairing for research into paleoecology. Not all aspects of their relationship were entirely harmonious, as Dr. Sattler was very interested in someday having children while Dr. Grant was highly hesitant about doing so. While Grant’s discomfort around children was resolved during the events on Isla Nublar, the aftermath of the incident drove a wedge between himself and Dr. Sattler; their relationship was ended by 1995. Though she eventually married a U.S. State Department employee and had distanced herself from dinosaurs, she and Grant were able to amend any conflicts they had and were close friends again by 2001.
By 2001, Dr. Grant had recruited a number of graduate students to assist in his digs, in spite of de-extinction becoming a public fact. Among these students was Billy Brennan, who worked very closely with Grant and became his trusted protégé. Brennan’s proficiency with new technology assisted Grant, who was still resistant to technological change and was largely incompetent with computers. Brennan was also responsible for roping Grant into the 2001 Isla Sorna incident; it was through Brennan that Paul Kirby arranged his meeting with Grant that July, and Brennan would accompany Grant on their journey to Isla Sorna the following day.
Brennan well understood the financial difficulties facing Grant’s career, and made an ill-advised attempt to gain funding during the incident. He stole two Velociraptor eggs out of their nest, hoping to sell them on the black market once they returned to the mainland. This act directly led to the death of mercenary Udesky as the raptors pursued the egg thieves, and gravely disappointed Grant when he learned what Brennan had done. Despite this, Brennan used his paragliding skills to rescue Eric Kirby later on, redeeming himself by risking his own life. While Brennan was presumed dead after this part of the incident, he was ultimately rescued by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and was reunited with Grant at the end of the incident. His act of self-sacrifice softened Grant’s view of his rash actions, and the two appear to have made amends.
John Hammond and InGen
During the early 1990s, Grant’s research was funded by International Genetic Technologies, and he was the top choice in paleontologists of InGen’s CEO at the time John Hammond. In early June of 1993, Hammond personally approached Dr. Grant’s dig site near Snakewater, Montana in order to invite him to tour the as-of-yet incomplete Jurassic Park; Grant was originally intended to be the tour’s sole paleontological consultant, though Dr. Ellie Sattler was invited along as well. Hammond did not inform Drs. Grant or Sattler about the true nature of the Park or the reason he needed an endorsement from either of them, unlike Dr. Ian Malcolm, instead choosing to keep the reality of de-extinction a surprise to shock them and thus increase his chances of getting the endorsement.
While Hammond was fully supportive of Dr. Grant’s work and understood its importance to InGen (even offering to completely fund Grant’s career for another three years), Jurassic Park still posed a threat to Grant’s work as it would eventually make traditional paleontology obsolete. Grant did not put much blame on Hammond himself for this challenge, but his opinion of InGen greatly soured following the 1997 San Diego incident that revealed de-extinction to the world.
During his time on Isla Nublar, Grant briefly met a few other InGen employees. He learned from Dr. Henry Wu that InGen had bred Velociraptor, and discussed the animals’ physiology and intelligence with Park warden Robert Muldoon. Much of Muldoon’s knowledge confirmed theories that Grant had already formulated about deinonychosaurian behavior, and Grant concurred with Muldoon that they were among the most dangerous animals in nature. He also briefly met Dr. Gerry Harding, the Park’s chief veterinarian, who introduced him to a sick Triceratops. While Grant respected Muldoon and had little familiarity with Wu or Harding, his overall opinion of InGen was negative due to the harm de-extinction did to his work. It is likely that following Masrani Global Corporation‘s resurrection of Jurassic Park as Jurassic World and the rapid development of neopaleontology, his opinion of InGen remained largely unpleasant.
Dr. Ian Malcolm
One of the other consultants on Jurassic Park’s 1993 endorsement tour was mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, who appeared to have more insight into Hammond’s project than Grant was given. During the tour, Grant and Malcolm became acquainted with one another. Grant largely disapproved of Malcolm’s flirtatious behavior toward Dr. Sattler, and also Malcolm’s flippant attitude toward romance and marriage. During the tyrannosaur attack on the main tour road, they briefly cooperated to try and lure the animal away from the Murphy children; Malcolm was wounded in the effort, and he became separated from Grant until the end of the incident.
While it is unknown to what degree Drs. Grant and Malcolm kept in touch following the incident, it is known that Grant’s opinion of Malcolm did not improve in the following years. He did read Malcolm’s groundbreaking book, God Creates Dinosaurs, but found it too preachy for his tastes and Malcolm’s narration overly egotistical.
Lex and Tim Murphy
During the 1993 incident, Grant became aquainted with John Hammond’s grandchildren Lex and Tim Murphy. The children took an immediate liking to Dr. Grant, in spite of his at-the-time discomfort around children in general. Lex in particular developed a precocious crush on Grant, taking any opportunity to hold hands or otherwise be close to him, while Tim had read Dinosaur Detectives and even brought a copy along with him to discuss with Grant. During the tour, Grant attempted to distance himself from the children in spite of Sattler’s insistence that he spend time with them. While on the tour they encountered a sick Triceratops, Grant’s favorite dinosaur when he was a child. This brought back memories of his own childhood, helping him to empathize with the young children and their love of dinosaurs. When disaster struck in the Park, Grant was the only adult left to protect the children as Donald Gennaro was killed and Malcolm severely wounded.
After the tyrannosaur attack on the main road, Grant fully devoted himself to getting the children to safety. They spent the evening and following day trekking westward to the Visitors’ Centre, with Grant leaving them alone only once they had arrived there. When he learned that the Velociraptors had escaped, he quickly armed himself and made haste back to the Centre to rescue them. He and Sattler led the children safely to the main rotunda, evading the raptors at every turn; even when they were surrounded and all hope seemed lost, he and Dr. Sattler kept the children in between them, shielding them from the raptors’ advance. Ultimately, the tyrannosaur inadvertently saved them by hunting down the raptors. On the helicopter ride back to the mainland, Grant and the children remained close, having bonded and become friends throughout the incident. Their relationship was instrumental in changing Grant’s overall feelings toward children.
It is unknown how much Grant and the Murphy children kept in contact after the incident, but the children did keep in touch with Dr. Malcolm to some degree. This would suggest that they likely remained in contact with Grant as well, particularly given the harrowing circumstances they survived together.
Dr. Grant’s one-time romantic partner Dr. Ellie Sattler married into the Degler family sometime between 1995 and 1998, eventually having two children with her husband Mark Degler. The blue-and-gold macaw that they had raised together, Jack, went to live in the Degler household as well. Years prior, Jack had been taught to speak and knew Dr. Grant’s first name; by 2001, he had apparently forgotten this. According to the almost-final Jurassic Park /// script, Grant and Jack had not seen one another in six years, meaning they had last seen each other in 1995.
Despite no longer being in a relationship with Dr. Degler, Grant maintained a positive relationship with her new family. He encouraged her son’s interest in dinosaurs, despite the boy’s very young age; Charlie came to know Dr. Grant as “the dinosaur man.” Grant also had a good relationship with Dr. Degler’s husband Mark, who respected their friendship without any signs of jealousy and openly welcomed Grant into their home. When he heard from his wife that Grant’s life was in peril on Isla Sorna, he wasted no time in using his government connections to send the U.S. military to the island to extract him safely.
Among Dr. Grant’s young fans was Eric Kirby, a boy from Enid, Oklahoma with a childhood interest in dinosaurs reminiscent of Grant’s own youth. Eric was the center of an international incident occurring in 2001 which Grant was involved with by means of Eric’s parents, Paul and Amanda Kirby. The Kirbys originally posed as a wealthy couple with permission from the Costa Rican government to fly low over Isla Sorna to experience an aerial tour; it was not until the group was stranded on the island that Grant learned the truth. He was initially furious with them for lying to and kidnapping him; after he was rescued by Eric in the forest, his feelings softened as he realized that they were simply parents doing whatever it took to save their child’s life. Grant and Eric bonded quickly during the time they spent together, and Grant ultimately showed no ill will toward the Kirby parents in spite of the harm they caused him.
According to the Jurassic Park Adventures junior novels, Grant and Eric remained friends in the following years and regularly kept in touch. Despite their interpersonal conflicts with regards to Isla Sorna and how the government and public should handle it, they usually found ways to resolve their disagreements and maintain a friendship. As Eric was still a minor in the early 2000s, Grant also stayed in touch with his parents, who appreciated Grant’s help in understanding the psychological trauma their son was going through.
Paleontological colleagues and volunteers
Dr. Grant often worked alongside other paleontologists on his digs. Along with his longtime colleague and romantic partner Dr. Ellie Sattler, many fellow scientists and local volunteers could be found at the sites he worked on. Some of these scientists and volunteers brought their children to work, lacking the funds necessary for child care; this irritated Grant prior to the 1993 incident, when his opinion of children was still quite negative. His feelings toward children were more amicable following the incident.
He was also familiar with international members of the paleontological and geological community, such as Dominican-based Costa Rican geologist Juanito Rostagno. His colleagues also included world-famous Dr. Jack Horner, upon which Dr. Grant based much of his methodology; he had a more critical opinion of Horner’s longtime rival Dr. Robert Bakker and was dismissive of Bakker’s work. It is likely that Grant would have opposed Dr. Robert Burke, who was a very Bakkerian paleontologist. Grant subscribed to Gregory S. Paul’s taxonomic theories, but it is unknown if Grant and Paul ever actually met one another.
At a 2001 dig, he was assisted by graduate students, likely from the nearby University of Montana.
InGen legal representative Donald Gennaro was among the members of the 1993 endorsement tour, and was the only one to disagree with Grant’s hesitant opinion on the Park. Grant and Gennaro did not interact much during the tour, but Grant was among the last people to see Gennaro alive before a tyrannosaur used him as a plaything to fatal effect.
M. B. Nash, Cooper, and Udesky
During the 2001 incident on Isla Sorna, Grant briefly met three men hired by the Kirbys to assist in the rescue mission. At the time, Grant was under the impression that they were friends of the Kirbys and that they were flight crew rather than mercenaries. When they attempted landing on the island, Grant became aggressive and was knocked unconscious by Cooper. Both Cooper and pilot M. B. Nash were killed shortly after landing on the island, so Grant did not get to know either of them particularly well. He became better acquainted with Udesky, the booking agent responsible for hiring the other two men; Udesky himself was filling in for a man who could not show. Grant considered Udesky to be the most intelligent and competent member of the Kirby party. Despite this, he did not immediately realize that Udesky was missing from the group when he was reunited with the others.
Grant and the Kirbys were, technically, the last people to interact with Nash and Cooper, by means of extracting parts of their digested remains from a pile of Spinosaurus dung.
Isla Nublar dinosaurs
During his 1993 trip to Isla Nublar, Dr. Grant encountered many of the island’s dinosaurs. The first he met were several Brachiosaurus and a herd of Parasaurolophus, which introduced him to the idea that de-extinction had been accomplished successfully. He would later go on to imitate the brachiosaurs’ calls and befriend one of them by feeding it. During the tour, he hoped to see the Dilophosaurus, but they failed to show. The Tyrannosaurus rex also did not show initially, but later appeared during a tropical storm and escaped captivity. This would be the first dinosaur that seriously threatened Grant, though its behavior was exploratory. Even if it was being more or less curious and playful, its enormous size and strength made its play behavior lethal to the humans it was interacting with. The tyrannosaur was responsible for separating Grant and the Murphy children from the main tour path, forcing them to make an overland journey on foot back toward the Visitors’ Centre.
The tyrannosaur would be sighted by them on a few other occasions; at one point, Grant observed it hunting a flock of Gallimimus. These smaller dinosaurs posed a minor threat to Grant and the children’s safety during a stampede, but the Gallimimus swerved to avoid trampling them in spite of their panic at being hunted. The tyrannosaur could be heard vocalizing as Grant and the children crossed the Park’s perimeter fence, but it did not approach them at that time.
Perhaps the most significant dinosaurs to interact with Grant during the 1993 incident were a sick Triceratops and a group of Velociraptors. The trike, which was tranquilized at the time, was the first dinosaur that Grant was able to really interact with closely; it reminded him of his childhood interest in dinosaurs, a vital step in his ability to empathize with children again. The raptors, on the other hand, hunted him and the children through the Visitors’ Centre, causing terrible psychological damage to Grant bordering on post-traumatic stress disorder. The raptors’ hunt was only interrupted by an ambush from the tyrannosaur, which killed one raptor and dueled the other while Grant, Sattler, and the children escaped.
It is unlikely that Grant visited Jurassic World between 2005 and 2015 due to his opinions on de-extinction and his tumultuous relationship with InGen, so the animals of Isla Nublar during that period had no direct interaction with him.
Isla Sorna dinosaurs and pterosaurs
In 2001, Dr. Grant was brought to Isla Sorna by the Kirby family, which permitted him to encounter a variety of prehistoric animals again. During the flight into the island, he was able to point out his childhood favorite Triceratops, this time in full health and great numbers, as well as a herd of Brachiosaurus. Alongside them were herds of Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, and Stegosaurus, the latter two of which he had never seen in the flesh before. He would later spot two Ankylosaurus, another genus he would see alive for the first time. These herbivorous dinosaurs would reawaken Grant’s appreciation for de-extinct animals, causing him to remember the awe and wonder he experienced at seeing them. Later on, Grant would take advantage of a herd of hadrosaurs to escape a pride of Velociraptors, though the huge panicked animals endangered his life.
The island’s carnivorous animals would be less amenable to him. An aggressive Spinosaurus would be the cause of his stranding on the island, and he would be nearly crushed by a young male Tyrannosaurus at one point. He and his companions were directly responsible for drawing these two large predators into a territorial clash, which would prove fatal for the tyrannosaur. Later, he would have to escape the Spinosaurus and then a third time face it down in its natural habitat; he drove it away using a flare gun to ignite spilled gasoline. His trainee Billy Brennan would end up stealing two Velociraptor antirrhopus sornaensis eggs, leading the animals to viciously pursue Grant and the others; Grant appears to have been aware of this subspecies prior to his arrival on the island, as he had a nightmare about one on the flight in. Grant’s interest in raptor communication would lead him to almost be captured and killed by the animals at one point, but ultimately would save the group as he confused the raptors by imitating their calls.
He would also have a brief but violent conflict with four Pteranodon longiceps hippocratesi, which he was not aware InGen had cloned at all. Brennan would be nearly killed by the creatures, and Grant’s newfound friend Eric Kirby was also threatened by the animals’ offspring. Grant himself would have to physically fight off one of the adults to defend the Kirbys. During this incident, a collapsing catwalk crushed one of the Pteranodons in the aviary’s river; this was the second animal death directly caused by Grant’s group.
According to the Jurassic Park Adventures series of junior novels, Grant reluctantly agreed to assist the United Nations in directly protecting and providing care for Isla Sorna’s animals, including relocating troublesome predators such as the Spinosaurus to balance the collapsing ecosystem. He remained opposed to letting the public interact with the island in any capacity. By 2005, he would no longer be involved with the island at all due to the fact that Masrani Global Corporation had by May of that year supposedly relocated all of the animals to Isla Nublar for safekeeping.
Dr. Alan Grant was portrayed by Sam Neill. He is loosely adapted from the character of the same name in Michael Crichton‘s 1990 novel; many aspects of his character were altered, including his initial dislike of children (in the novel, he loves children from the start) and his romantic relationship with Ellie Sattler (which is completely absent in the novel). These changes were intentionally made to make his character more relatable to the audience, and to give him a character arc. Much of his film portrayal was influenced by paleontologist Jack Horner.
In the novel, Dr. Grant previously had a wife who died some years prior to the incident. No mention of a previous relationship is made in the films, but some aspects of Grant’s character (such as his dislike of Malcolm’s flippant approach to romance, and his hesitancy to have children) may be derived from the novel version of Grant having a deceased wife.