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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Summary


Here you will find a Jurassic Park summary (Michael Crichton's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Jurassic Park Summary Overview

In a curious case of wildlife disturbance, children in Costa Rica have been subjected to attacks from an unidentified species of three-toed lizards. On examining a sample of the creature at a Columbia University lab, renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, recognizes it as a dinosaur. Dr. Grant and his research partner, Dr. Ellie Sattler, are summoned to Isla Nublar, a Costa Rican island, by a bioengineering company, InGen, seeking their expertise. The island, the property of InGen’s owner, John Hammond, serves as a unique zoo, Jurassic Park, filled with cloned dinosaurs and is driven by advanced automated systems and machinery. However, concerns arise about the safety of this zoological park. Despite the excitement of a dinosaur park, the underlying risks cannot be ignored. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician acting as a consultant for InGen, predicts disaster through the lens of chaos theory. Adding to the potential perils, Dennis Nedry, the architect of the park's computer network, is secretly collaborating with Biosyn Corporation, a rival company, intending to steal dinosaur embryos. This act leads to the park’s security system shutdown, and nearly all other systems malfunction. The result is catastrophic as dinosaurs escape, and Nedry, lost and unable to deliver the stolen embryos, is killed by a dinosaur. The park descends into chaos when a power outage leaves visitors, including Grant, Malcolm, Hammond's grandchildren Tim and Lex, stranded in their electric tour cars. The dormant electric fences around the dinosaur paddocks fail, leading to a t-rex breaking out, consuming a park employee, and gravely injuring Malcolm. As Grant and the children navigate the park on foot, they discover signs of dinosaur breeding, contradicting the assertion that all dinosaurs in the park are female. The situation further spirals when the velociraptors, small but deadly dinosaurs, break loose, resulting in more deaths. The survivors manage to reactivate the electric fences and repel the velociraptors while the Costa Rican National Guard performs a rescue operation, subsequently destroying the island. As the ordeal concludes, Grant comes across information about unidentified lizards spotted on the mainland, marking an uncertain future.


In the latter part of the 20th century, biotechnology and genetic engineering surged to the forefront as a significant technological revolution. The shift occurred when Herber Boyer, a University of California biochemist, established Genentech in 1976 to commercialize his studies. The industry soon grew into a global mix of private research firms creating whimsical, profit-driven products, like square trees for lumber, without any government oversight. Accordingly, the emergence of International Genetic Technologies, or InGen, was not unexpected. InGen was supposedly responsible for an "incident," and sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1989. The proceedings garnered little attention, but some parties involved were open to discussing the happenings on a secluded island near Costa Rica...


During a tempestuous night, physician Roberta "Bobbie" Carter and her paramedic Manuel receive an unexpected patient in their Bahia Anasco, Costa Rica clinic. The patient, an eighteen-year-old male, is brought in by Ed Regis, a red-haired man from "InGen Construction." Despite Bobbie's suggestion to transfer the patient to better-equipped facilities in the capital, San José, Regis insists they can't due to the storm. Upon examination, Bobbie doubts the lad's wounds, resembling gashes across his upper body and leg, were from a construction mishap as Regis claimed. With Regis out of the room, she photographs the injuries. The young man wakes briefly to utter "Lo sa raptor." Manuel, disturbed by the unusual, stinky foam on the boy's wounds and his cryptic utterance, confesses he doesn't know its meaning. As the boy repeats the phrase, Manuel speculates he's been attacked by a raptor or "hupia"—mythical creatures from nearby islands believed to snatch youngsters. The patient abruptly throws up blood, convulses, and dies. Intrigued by the term "raptor," Bobbie consults dictionaries and learns it translates to "abductor" in Spanish and "bird of prey" in English.

first iteration

Mike Bowman, his wife, Ellen, and their daughter, Tina, are holidaying in Costa Rica. During their visit to Cabo Blanco Biological Reserve, Tina comes across a green and brown-striped lizard, which attacks her. The incident leaves her parents panicked and worried. Tina is taken to a hospital in Puntarenas where Dr. Cruz assures she will be fine. However, he admits he's not a lizard expert, so he seeks help from Dr. Guitierrez. When Guitierrez arrives, he identifies the creature from Tina's drawing as a Basiliscus amoratus, though some details like its elongated neck and three toes confuse him. Later, Guitierrez is at the Cabo Blanco beach, pondering over recent reports of lizards attacking infants. He suspects deforestation may have forced a new species out of the jungle. He stumbles upon a howler monkey feasting on a similar green and brown-striped lizard and decides to send the remains to Dr. Simpson at Columbia University. However, Dr. Simpson is away, so the specimen goes to Dr. Richard Stone of Columbia's Tropical Diseases Laboratory. Stone determines there's no viral or bacterial infection risk from the lizard, which relieves Guitierrez. But elsewhere, a midwife at a clinic finds lizards eating a baby. To avoid blame, she reports the death as SIDS. In the meantime, a lab discovers a primitive neurotoxin in Tina's bite, akin to cobra venom. At Columbia, a technician, Alice Levin, refers to Tina's sketch as a "dinosaur." Despite Dr. Stone's insistence it's a lizard, Levin persists, suggesting they send the specimen to the Museum of Natural History. However, Stone prefers to await Dr. Simpson's return.

second iteration

Renowned paleontologist Alan Grant and his associate, Ellie Sattler, are working at a dig site in Montana when they meet with Bob Morris from the Environmental Protection Agency. Morris shares his concerns about the unusual activities of the Hammond Foundation, a key contributor to Grant's research. The Hammond Foundation has been exhibiting strange behavior, like sponsoring only cold-weather dinosaur digs, amassing a massive collection of amber, and renting an island near Costa Rica. Morris fears that InGen, the company on the island, might be conducting reckless genetic engineering, leading him to remember a previous incident caused by the Biosyn Corporation. Grant reveals that InGen had once asked him for consultation about dinosaur diets. The duo finds it hard to perceive John Hammond, a dinosaur-loving old man, as a potential harm. In the meantime, Grant receives an x-ray image of a lizard that bit a girl. Upon inspection, he and Satter are shocked to find it's a dinosaur. As they ponder over this mystery, Hammond calls Grant, trying to persuade him to visit his preserved island. Grant reluctantly agrees when Hammond agrees to fund his and Sattler's research. In San Francisco, InGen's lawyer, Donald Gennaro, is concerned about the organization's issues, including worker deaths, lizard attacks, and an EPA investigation. He is told to explore the island along with Grant, Sattler, and another consultant, Ian Malcolm. Gennaro asks for the location of the dinosaur remains so it can be taken to the island. Grant and Sattler receive blueprints for the island, which seems to be a fortified resort and a large zoo. They rush to protect a baby velociraptor's skeleton at their dig site before heading to Costa Rica. As Gennaro leaves his office, his boss advises him to destroy the island if there's anything wrong with it. Awaiting Hammond's plane at an airport, Grant and Sattler reflect on their distaste for fundraising. On board, they meet Gennaro, who they do not like. The Biosyn Corporation holds an emergency meeting. Their head of product development, Lewis Dodgson, reveals his plan to steal dinosaur DNA from InGen's zoo. Dodgson meets with a spy from InGen and hands him money and a concealed container for the embryos. Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician, joins the group on the plane. Malcolm shares his belief based on chaos theory that the island will soon become unpredictable. In San José, they're joined by Dennis Nedry, a rude computer technician, before heading to Isla Nublar. They're met by Ed Regis and get their first look at a living dinosaur on arriving at Jurassic Park. Sattler admires the dinosaur's elegance whereas Gennaro sees a business opportunity. Grant notices the dinosaurs moving faster than their species should.

third iteration

While heading to their accommodations at the resort, Grant ponders the scientific debate about dinosaurs being cold or warm-blooded. Sattler spots a dangerous Jurassic-era fern planted near a pool. Once in their rooms, they observe extra bars on the windows, not mentioned in the original blueprints. Before setting off on an island tour, Gennaro asks Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm about the park's safety. He brings up Tina's incident in Costa Rica, the increasing reports of lizard attacks and higher infant mortality rates in coastal villages. Malcolm, a believer in chaos theory, suggests animals have escaped, angering Hammond. The arrival of Hammond's grandchildren, a boy and a girl, further irritates Gennaro. Hammond's grandson, Tim, a dinosaur enthusiast, instantly recognizes Dr. Grant. Ed Regis, evidently unhappy about chaperoning, guides everyone to the laboratories. Dr. Wu there explains their source of dinosaur DNA—ancient amber-preserved insects. In the nursery, they see a baby velociraptor. Wu assures everyone that the dinosaurs can't breed as they're all sterile females. Malcolm is doubtful. Malcolm queries Wu about a dinosaur species that might have bitten Tina. Wu admits they engineered that species but reassures that the dinosaurs can't reach the mainland because of their dependency on a specific nutrient, lysine. Grant, while visiting the raptor's cage, notices one raptor stalking them. Suddenly, two other raptors attack from either side but the electric fence stops them. Wu proposes to Hammond about creating a slower version of the current dinosaurs to make them easier to manage, but Hammond dismisses the idea, insisting they should be authentic. John Arnold, the chief engineer, explains the park's complex computerized monitoring system to everyone. Malcolm points out the problems with the data, implying possible issues with the animals. The group, including the children, embark on an island tour in automated Land Rovers. They visit various dinosaur habitats, but the animals seem dull and inactive to the children. Meanwhile, Hammond overlooks all the issues raised about the island's safety. The tour group watches a live goat being devoured by a tyrannosaurus while Muldoon discusses the park's dangers. Hammond, annoyed by everyone's negative views, listens to the tour group's discussion about the disastrous effects if the T-rex ever escapes. Tim spots a raptor running across a field. Due to a looming storm, Hammond has to call off a supply ship. The tour pauses to visit Dr. Harding, the island vet, treating a sick stegosaurus. Sattler deduces the animal's sickness is due to its diet containing a specific berry. Grant discovers a raptor eggshell, indicating the supposedly sterile dinosaurs are breeding. On Malcolm's inquiry, the computer reveals the park has more dinosaurs than intended. Grant theorizes the dinosaurs are breeding due to frog DNA used to complete the dinosaur DNA. As everyone gets ready for dinner, Sattler stays back with Dr. Harding while Gennaro stays to flirt with Sattler. Malcolm is anxious, predicting an imminent disaster on the island. Lex sees small velociraptors on the recently departed supply ship through binoculars. Meanwhile, Nedry sabotages the computer system and phone lines to steal dinosaur embryos without triggering security alarms. He drives off in Muldoon's jeep towards the dock. Arnold discovers the disabled security system, realizing the electric fences confining the animals are inactive. Additionally, the power cut immobilizes the tour cars, stranding the group. Muldoon sets off to rescue them but finds his jeep missing.

fourth iteration

When a storm hits, the electric cars break down near the tyrannosaur enclosure. Tim, using night-vision goggles, recognizes the fence is unpowered as a dinosaur grabs it. As Regis flees, the dinosaur assaults the car, throwing it around. Malcolm is also attacked as he tries to escape. Grant steps out, realizes the dinosaur can't see him if he stays still, but gets flung into the air when the beast knocks the car over. Harding, Sattler, and Gennaro have to reroute their return to the main building because of a fallen tree. Nedry, trying to reach the dock in the storm, gets disoriented and succumbs to a poison-spitting dinosaur. Meanwhile, Hammond and Wu have dinner in Hammond's bungalow, discussing the park's future. When Wu suggests potential changes, Hammond insists on his right to profit from his island. Elsewhere, security fails to locate Nedry. Harding's group follows a scavenging pack of compys... Tim narrowly avoids a falling Land Rover, and locates Lex hidden in a drainpipe. Back at the lab, Wu discovers the frog DNA used in the breeding species. Grant reunites with Tim and Lex, but as Regis emerges, a younger t-rex devours him, causing panic and a frantic escape. Arnold reestablishes communications with Harding's team and orders them back. Hammond, now aware of the technical glitches and the overdue group, is furious. Muldoon and Gennaro, on a search mission, discover Regis's severed leg near the t-rex enclosure, and find an injured Malcolm, who they transport back. Wu assists Arnold in decoding Nedry's disruptive program. Muldoon tells Sattler to tend to Malcolm's injuries as the phone lines remain down. In the meantime, Grant and the kids take refuge in a hay-filled shed at the tyrannosaur enclosure. Upon rectifying the code, Arnold restarts the park's power. The computers fail to locate Grant and the kids. Malcolm's condition improves, but Sattler insists he needs off-island surgery. Muldoon tries to repair a broken electric fence, while Arnold argues against Malcolm's chaos theory. Discovering the t-rex in the sauropod enclosure, a furious Hammond orders Muldoon to capture the dinosaur, but Muldoon refuses, blaming Hammond for their lack of proper equipment. When Grant wakes up, he finds Lex caring for a baby triceratops. Attempting to restore phone service, Arnold shuts down the system momentarily. During a dinosaur stampede, Grant and the kids take shelter on a small rocky hill then climb a tree. They stumble upon a dock shed equipped with a raft and a tranquilizer gun, only to realize a sleeping t-rex is nearby. As they drift away on the raft, Lex's sneeze wakes the dinosaur. It chases after them in the water but is distracted by a smaller t-rex stealing its abandoned meal.

fifth iteration

Muldoon and Gennaro investigate a hadrosaur stampede, collecting a rocket launcher and leaving Nedry's body to scavenging compys. Grant and the children explore under the park's aviary. Arnold keeps an eye on the motion sensors but struggles to locate the t-rex and the group. Malcolm warns of an impending catastrophe, the "Malcolm Effect," when things seem too perfect. In the aviary, Grant and the children fend off aggressive cearadactyls, large fish-eating pterodactyls. A t-rex provides an unexpected rescue from a group of poisonous dilophosaurs. Muldoon and Gennaro attempt to tranquilize the t-rex, but it seems to fail and they flee. The t-rex chases Grant and the kids, leading to a dangerous waterfall encounter. However, the t-rex eventually succumbs to the tranquilizers. Arnold realizes the park has been running on auxiliary power which has now run out, creating a new problem. Meanwhile, Grant and the children escape a locked maintenance door when the power runs out. Back in the control room, they realize the electric fences have been inactive for hours. Arnold is killed while attempting to restore power. Muldoon and Gennaro narrowly escape raptors, with Gennaro injured when he tries to restart the generator. Returning to the visitor center, they find it in disarray. The remaining group - Wu, Harding, Muldoon, Sattler, Hammond, and Malcolm - are trapped in a room as raptors work their way in. Sattler distracts the raptors while Grant heads for the generator. The children are left alone in the cafeteria and lock a raptor in the freezer. Grant finds Gennaro and restarts the generator. The kids escape the raptors and manage to radio Muldoon who tells them to turn on the electricity. Using a security card, they hide in the nursery. A baby raptor is used as a distraction and they run into Grant and Gennaro. Grant kills two raptors with poisoned dinosaur eggs and the third with a direct injection. The electricity is restored just in time to keep the raptors out. The group calls a supply ship carrying stowaway raptors and instructs it to turn back. Hammond is relieved but Malcolm criticizes his reckless behavior. The group prepares for the arrival of the Costa Rican National Guard, with Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, and Gennaro set to find the raptor nest to check if any animals have left the island. Discovering this, Hammond is hopeful that despite possibly losing his island, he has frozen embryos stored in California. Hammond is killed after hearing a recorded tyrannosaur roar and falling down a ravine in panic. Grant, Sattler, and Gennaro enter the raptor nest, observing the raptors lining up and running down a tunnel. They follow them to a beach where they assume the raptors want to migrate. Helicopters arrive, scaring off the raptors and picking up Grant, Sattler, Gennaro, Muldoon, and the kids. They learn that Hammond and Malcolm are dead, leaving the question of who's in charge.


Authorities hold all individuals at a hotel for interrogation. Guitierrez pays a visit and notifies Grant about certain creatures consuming regional crops in an odd fashion. These creatures have been following a straight path from the seashore into the thick mountain forest, feasting on agama beans and soybeans—both high in lysine. These creatures have ultimately vanished into the dense woodland, leading to a mystery regarding their current whereabouts.

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