Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Complete Jurassic Park Timeline Explained

The premise of "Jurassic Park" is simple enough: A genetics company (InGen), helmed by Scottish venture capitalist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), sets out to bring dinosaurs back into the modern world. But unsurprisingly, it doesn't exactly go according to plan. Who would have expected that large carnivorous predators like the Tyrannosaurus rex would try to kill the humans who brought them back to life? Oh, wait — just about every single "Jurassic Park" viewer had that one pegged. But with the InGen CEO and his companions Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) surviving to tell the tale, there was room for further adaptations of Michael Crichton's novels.

Almost three decades since that maiden voyage to Isla Nublar in 1993, this dinosaur-filled franchise has been developed into a full cinematic universe. Complete with two interconnected feature trilogies and a handful of related spinoffs, the franchise has become a moral commentary on humans trying to play god, but rarely learning from their mistakes.

The franchise takes viewers back to the prehistoric age and each "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic World" movie introduces new characters and complex plotlines, weaving an intricate web of history, genetics, scientific advancements, and corporate espionage. It's understandably hard to keep all the events in the franchise straight. So, don't worry if you're still confused about which crime BioSyn committed when, or how Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) engineered the Indoraptor because we've laid everything out for you. Here's the complete "Jurassic Park" timeline explained.

65 million years ago

Sixty-five million years ago, the late Cretaceous Period met the Paleogene Period. This marked the sudden mass extinction of three-quarters of the animals and plants on earth — including all dinosaurs. The (cut) prologue for "Jurassic World: Dominion" takes viewers back to just before that extinction, showcasing a host of dinosaurs like the dreadnoughtus, pteranodon, and Moros intrepidus, which had been previously unseen in the franchise. At the end of the prologue, the last dinosaur to be introduced is the giganotosaurus, the largest apex predator of all time, and it quickly asserts its dominance over a Tyrannosaurus rex.

This scene isn't only significant because a genetically engineered version of the giganotosaurus returns to reclaim that title in "Jurassic World: Dominion," though. It links back to the scene in the first "Jurassic Park" film, when Alan, Ellie, and Ian watch a short film about a mosquito getting encased in amber and fossilized after drinking the blood of a dead T. rex. The prologue heavily suggests that it was this mosquito (or rather, one like it) that was later used by John Hammond and Sir Benjamin Lockwood's (James Cromwell) company InGen to extract dinosaur DNA and then create Rexy in the 1980s.

1969-1983: John Hammond builds the foundations for InGen

By 1969, John Hammond had made his vested interest in animals very clear, having opened his first animal preserve, Animal Kingdom, that year in Nairobi, Kenya. He also hires future Jurassic Park employee Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) to work there as the park warden. But taking care of and showcasing animals already on the planet clearly isn't enough for Hammond, and he soon sets out to bring dinosaurs back into the modern world. Having dreamed up the idea of using the DNA of creatures encased in amber (like the mosquito) to clone extinct animals, he starts working with a small research team, calling his company the Hammond Foundation.

In 1975, Hammond had secured enough investors and a partnership with British entrepreneur Sir Benjamin Lockwood. Together they found International Genetic Technologies, a bio-engineering company more commonly referred to as InGen. Working out of a laboratory in Lockwood's basement, the pair teams up with scientists and conducts research on bringing extinct animals back to life. Here they make plans for a dinosaur theme park, which they name Jurassic Park. In 1982, InGen signs a 99-year-long lease for Isla Sorna and the Muertes Archipelago from the Costa Rican government, where they plan to conduct research, and a year later construction begins on Jurassic Park: San Diego.

1984-1987: InGen successfully clones its first dinosaur

In 1984, almost a decade after founding InGen, John Hammond and Sir Benjamin Lockwood have their first major breakthrough. Still working out of Lockwood's estate, he, Hammond, and their team of scientists begin a fertilization test on an artificial ovum, which is successful. A year later, in 1985, they move their headquarters to Palo Alto and successfully clone the prehistoric DNA from the amber.

But other changes are afoot at InGen, as Hammond suspends construction on Jurassic Park: San Diego indefinitely. Instead, he looks to move the park to Isla Nublar in Costa Rica. InGen leases the island from the Costa Rican government, adding it to the 99-year lease they'd already agreed to.

Now making use of the islands they leased, InGen starts working on Isla Sorna, which they call Site B, but they haven't been able to clone a dinosaur yet, despite having success with the amber. In 1986, Hammond and Lockwood add Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to their team, and he suggests they splice the DNA of dinosaurs with that of modern animals like frogs. Shortly afterward, InGen successfully clones their first dinosaur, a triceratops. Wu also comes up with the lysine contingency, a plan that would theoretically protect the humans if the dinosaurs ever escaped. By adding a faulty gene to the dinosaurs, they'd become dependent on supplemental lysine that InGen gave them. Removing dinosaurs from captivity, then, would deprive them of the enriched food, send the dinosaurs into a coma, and ultimately kill them.

1988-1993: Construction begins on Isla Nublar

Now seeing significant progress with its ability to genetically engineer and replicate dinosaurs, InGen goes ahead with plans for a new Jurassic Park in Isla Nublar, which they refer to as Site A. Construction begins on the island in 1988 and is finished in 1993. During this period, InGen successfully hatches more dinosaurs, including the Tyrannosaurus rex "Rexy," who is seen throughout the "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic World" movies. Rexy is born on Site B but is moved over to her paddock on Isla Nublar in 1989 when she's 1 year old.

InGen has other innovative success thanks to Dr. Henry Wu, who realizes that the DNA of the yellow poison dart frog they've been using is incompatible with some dinosaur genomes, like velociraptors. He suggests InGen uses the reed frog. Although any geneticist should suspect that since the reed frog can change sex, this ability could be passed down to the dinosaurs, it's ignored and is later the reason the dinosaurs have been able to reproduce — a reveal seen in "Jurassic Park" and expanded upon in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Wu also researches the hybridization of dinosaurs during this period, which, of course, will eventually lead to the Indominus Rex.

However, InGen also suffers a major blow when Sir Benjamin Lockwood leaves the company after he and John Hammond fall out. Although the cause for this is not known in "Jurassic Park" — since this is retconned into the story in "Jurassic World: Dominion" — the latter film reveals that Hammond was disgusted by Lockwood's interest in using their research for human cloning after his daughter, Charlotte (Elva Trill), who worked on Isla Sorna, revealed she wished to have a baby this way.

1993: John Hammond prepares to open Jurassic Park

Despite Sir Benjamin Lockwood's departure from InGen, John Hammond forges ahead with his plan to open Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. However, the company's board of directors has concerns about the park's safety after gatekeeper Jophery Brown (Jophery Clifford Brown) is killed by a Velociraptor while transferring them to a higher security holding pen and his family sues InGen. Nevertheless, Hammond believes Jurassic Park is the perfect place to bring his grandchildren, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello), to get their minds off their parents' divorce.

Lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) also heads to Isla Nublar to assess the weaknesses of the park and have it shut down, bringing Dr. Ian Malcolm with him to strengthen his argument. In response, Hammond invites Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler along, hoping they will endorse the park. Elsewhere, Lewis Dodgson (Cameron Thor) meets with Jurassic Park computer programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) and convinces him to steal dinosaur embryos for rival company BioSyn in exchange for $1.5 million.

1993: 48 hours on Isla Nublar

On June 11, everyone arrives at the park and the events of the first "Jurassic Park" film take place over the next 48 hours. John Hammond takes Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ian Malcolm, and Donald Gennaro on a tour of Jurassic Park where they see brachiosaurus and parasaurolophus dinosaurs. The group is later joined by Lex and Tim, but they see very few other dinosaurs that afternoon.

An unexpected tropical storm heading toward Isla Nublar then forces all non-essential personnel to be evacuated, leaving only Nedry, Robert Muldoon, and Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) to manage the park. Nedry soon sneaks off to steal the embryos and shuts down all power and security protocols on the island, except for the velociraptor holding pen. This allows Rexy to escape her paddock and attack Lex, Tim, and Alan before killing Donald.

In a bid to reverse Nedry's actions and get the power back on, Ray does a full system reset, but this deactivates the raptors' paddock. It's not long before Robert and Ray are both devoured by the raptors, leaving Alan, Ellie, Ian, Hammond, Lex, and Tim to get the power back on and call for help. They eventually do this, but they encounter the raptors several more times before being saved by Rexy. By the end of the film, even John concurs Jurassic Park can't be saved, and the survivors escape in a helicopter.

1994-1997: The Lost World

"The Lost World: Jurassic Park" begins by filling in the gaps of the past four years since InGen abandoned Isla Nublar. During this period, the bioengineering company is hit with more lawsuits for the wrongful deaths of Donald Gennaro, Robert Muldoon, and Ray Arnold, which they covered up, and are nearly bankrupt because of it. Because of this, John Hammond is fired by the board, and his nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), replaces him as CEO. He makes plans to open Jurassic Park: San Diego and wants to move over dinosaurs from Site B. There are plenty because as Dr. Henry Wu discovered, the lysine contingency had proven ineffective and the remaining dinosaurs began breeding.

Dr. Ian Malcolm breaks his non-disclosure agreement with InGen to raise awareness over the events on Isla Nublar but is discredited by Ludlow. Despite this, he refuses to go to Site B with Hammond (who wants to document the dinosaurs there and stop InGen from profiting off them), until his girlfriend, Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore), agrees to go. He follows her to the island to "rescue" her but soon discovers his teenage daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) has stowed away on the rescue mission, too.

Hammond's team, the "Gatherers," race against InGen's "Hunters" but are ultimately forced to work together after the male Tyrannosaurus rex "Buck" destroys their vehicles and communication equipment, believing they injured his son. After several encounters with Buck, his female counterpart, and some velociraptors, the Gatherers escape the island, but Ludlow's men capture Buck and take him to San Diego. Ian and Sarah use the young T. rex, "Junior," to lure him back onto the cargo ship. The ship sails back to Isla Sorna, but not before Junior eats Ludlow.

1997-2001: The consequences of John Hammond's death

Following the events on Isla Sorna and in San Diego, John Hammond petitions the government to have Isla Sorna left as a nature reserve for the dinosaurs. The U.S. House Committee of Science also passes the Gene Guard Act, which gives bioengineered dinosaurs the same status and rights as endangered species. As a result, access to the islands is restricted and InGen is forbidden from cloning any other prehistoric flora or fauna.

This seems to be the end of InGen's Jurassic adventure. But when Hammond dies in 1998, Masrani Global swoops in and acquires the bioengineering firm. Having taken over from his father as the CEO of Masrani Global in 1992, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) kept a watchful eye over Hammond's company for years. After taking over InGen in 1998, Masrani sets out to fulfill Hammond's failed dream of opening Jurassic Park, this time renamed Jurassic World. Breaking the Gene Guard Act, he starts experimenting mere months after Hammond's death.

Shortly after, InGen begins secret experiments on Site B with the goal of illegally breeding new species, including the superpredator spinosaurus. Plans for a new park are underway, and in 1999, the U.N. grants Masrani Global legal — but limited — access to Isla Sorna. Simon brings Dr. Henry Wu into his new "Jurassic World" project in 2000. Wu becomes the lead genetic biologist at InGen.

2001: Dr. Alan Grant unintentionally leads a rescue mission to Isla Sorna

"Jurassic Park III" begins by revealing what Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler have been doing in the eight years since they were on Isla Nublar. Notably, Ellie has retired from paleobotany. Although the two remain close, Ellie is now married to Mark Degler (Taylor Nichols), who works at the state department, and they have two young children together.

Meanwhile, Alan remains active in the field of paleontology and has been able to build a working replica of the velociraptors' voice box. A wealthy thrill-seeking couple, Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni), approach Alan, offering to fund further research if he gives them (and three mercenaries) an aerial tour of Isla Nublar. Alan brings his protégé, Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola), along, too. But the Kirbys' ulterior motive is soon revealed, as the couple actually plans to rescue their son, Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan), who — along with Amanda's boyfriend, Ben Hildebrand (Mark Harelik) — has gone missing on Isla Sorna after an illegal parasailing tour over the island.

On the island, Alan finds Eric, now the sole survivor, and reunites him with his parents. Their group faces attacks from velociraptors, pteranodons, and the spinosaurus, and all three of the mercenaries are killed one by one. Alan gets out a distress call to Ellie and Mark, though, who send a rescue team while Alan fakes a distress call with his raptor voice box to help them escape. Billy, believed to be dead, is later rescued by the U.S. Marines.

2001-2005: Jurassic Park take two

As a result of Alan and the Kirbys' actions on Isla Sorna, a group of pteranodons escape and are spotted over British Columbia. However, Simon Masrani hires security contractor Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) to deal with them and was then hired as InGen's head of security. These events hadn't put Masrani off opening his new park, Jurassic World, and in 2002 — a year after Alan's harrowing visit to Isla Sorna — Masrani announces his plans to the world. He also has Rexy and other rogue dinosaurs recaptured on Isla Nublar. They are shipped to Site B until their enclosures in the new park are finished.

In 2003, InGen bribes members of the U.S. House Committee of Science, who then agree to remove the restrictions on InGen because of the Gene Guard Act, which allows them to begin cloning and genetically engineering new species of dinosaurs for Jurassic World. The following year, Simon Masrani hires Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) as an intern on the Jurassic World project.

Masrani Global Corporation soon begins moving the dinosaurs back from Site B to the new park on Site A. At the time, Masrani's company is credited with saving the creatures from ecological disaster. It is later revealed in 2015 that the strain on the Isla Sorna ecosystem had actually been caused by InGen's secret experiments on Isla Sorna in 1998 when Masrani acquired the company.

2005-2015: Masrani Global Corporation opens Jurassic World

In 2005, Simon Masrani's company opens its new dinosaur park, Jurassic World, to the public. Elsewhere, by 2007, Sir Benjamin Lockwood's daughter, Charlotte, has succeeded in cloning herself. Her daughter, Maisie, is born. While Charlotte suffers from a rare genetic disease that leads to her death in 2009, Claire continues rising through the ranks of InGen. She eventually becomes the senior assets manager at Jurassic World.

Work on the Indominus rex begins in 2008 after demands from Jurassic World's board of investors cause Claire and Masrani to ask Dr. Henry Wu to create a hybrid theropod. Charlotte, meanwhile, dies of a genetic disease in 2009, and her death is covered up. Developments in dinosaur behavior at Jurassic World continue, with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) selected to head up a special project as its head velociraptor trainer.

During this time, Masrani authorizes the construction of a new facility in Siberia in 2012, which opens in 2014. Its focus is to extract the DNA of animals from the Ice Age (as seen in the Netflix series "Camp Cretaceous"). On Isla Nublar in 2012, a new pack of velociraptors is engineered by Wu's team, and the raptors Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo are born. In 2013, Owen recognizes some nuances in the dynamic of their pack and requests that his friend Barry Sembène (Omar Sy) join his team. By 2015, Jurassic World has operated for 10 years without incident.

2015: The Indominus rex wreaks havoc at Jurassic World

In 2015, Simon Masrani publicly announces that Jurassic World will soon be unveiling a new genetically engineered dinosaur: the Indominus rex. As a result, ticket sales rise astronomically. Meanwhile, Claire Dearing's nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins), come to visit her on Isla Nublar while their parents go through divorce proceedings. Their arrival coincides with Jurassic World's first big disaster.

The Indominus rex, which ate its twin when it was younger, is much smarter than InGen scientists expected and displays traits that even Dr. Henry Wu, its creator, is surprised by. The I. rex's camouflage abilities, along with its significant intelligence, allow it to escape. In its ensuing rampage, it nearly kills Owen, and its carnage throughout the park causes mass chaos, destruction, and further dinosaur escapes. The pteranodons escape their enclosure when Masrani's helicopter sends the I. rex into the paddock. He dies when pteranodons and dimorphodons fly into the helicopter and it crashes.

Claire and Owen team up to search for Zach and Gray, who briefly encounter the indominus on their Gyrosphere ride. After reuniting, Owen uses Blue's pack to hunt the indominus, but they side with her, sensing her velociraptor DNA. Eventually, Owen gets through to Blue, though, and she helps them fight the indominus. With the help of Rexy and an assist from the mosasaurus, the group defeats the indominus. Despite a lot of deaths, all's well that ends well, as Zach and Grey's parents return to get them together, seemingly no longer getting divorced, while Claire and Owen walk off into the sunset.

2015-2016: Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous begins

Season 1 of "Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous" takes place simultaneously to the events of "Jurassic World," beginning just before Jack and Gray arrive on Isla Nublar. A group of six kids — Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Ben (Sean Giambrone), Yaz (Kausar Mohammed), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), and Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) — arrive on the island to attend adventure camp. However, they discover problems within the park and end up having several close encounters with dinosaurs like the carnotaurus. But before their many near-death experiences, Claire Dearing actually planned for her nephews to attend this camp, but their counselor Roxie (Jameela Jamil) decided it was too dangerous. As Season 1 progresses, the campers are attacked by the Indominus rex and the mosasaurus, which makes them miss the ferry off Isla Nublar, leaving them stranded on the island.

Season 2 picks up after the events of "Jurassic World," with the island now all but abandoned. While trying to avoid getting killed by dinosaurs, the kids face off against new characters Mitch (Bradley Whitford) and Tiff (Stephanie Beatriz) who have come to the island claiming to be eco-tourists, but instead are hunters looking to bag some dinosaur trophies. Of course, they both get what's coming to them, with Rexy taking a bite out of Mitch and Tiff killed by the baryonyx duo "Chaos" and "Limbo."

2016-2017: Camp Cretaceous meets Fallen Kingdom

"Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous" Season 3 lines up with the opening scene of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," which is set six months after the events of "Jurassic World." Dr. Henry Wu has just started working for Sir Benjamin Lockwood's estate manager, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), and they have sent a group of mercenaries to recover the bones of Indominus rex. The animated series recreates pieces of this opening scene before depicting what else was going on around the island.

It notably reveals that Wu engineered two types of hybrid dinosaurs. He created the Scorpios rex before the Indominus, but Simon Masrani ordered Wu to have her killed because she was too horrifying for the park. However, he didn't do this, instead placing the dinosaur into a cryofreeze chamber and planning to use her to create his next hybrid. She is accidentally freed at the end of Season 2, and after asexually procreating between the second and third seasons, she and her child attack the campers several times. They face off against the campers for the last time in the old Jurassic Park Visitors Center in the episode "Escape from Isla Nublar," where the dinosaurs are killed when the roof caves in. Afterward, in Season 4, the campers finally escape from Isla Nublar.

Back on the mainland, Wu receives the Indominus rex DNA the mercenaries recovered from Isla Nublar and engineers a new dinosaur called the Indoraptor. The following year, Claire Dearing founds the Dinosaur Protection Group after Isla Nublar's volcano Mount Sibo becomes active and threatens to kill all the dinosaurs.

2018: Claire and Owen launch a rescue mission to Isla Nublar

In June 2018, Claire Dearing is summoned to Sir Benjamin Lockwood's estate, where he introduces himself as an old associate of John Hammond's. He offers to fund her rescue mission to Isla Nublar so that she can save the dinosaurs from extinction as Mount Sibo is now erupting. However, he requests that her now ex-boyfriend Owen Grady also join the mission, as he's the only one who can save Blue.

Claire and Owen return to the island along with paleoveterinarian Zia Rodriquez (Daniella Pineda) and IT expert Franklin Webb (Justice Smith). To their surprise, they are met by mercenary and trophy hunter Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), who double-crosses them and captures Blue. After a few close encounters with dinosaurs and a near-drowning, Claire, Owen, Zia, and Franklin escape the island and stow away onboard one of Wheatley's ships, where they are taken back to the Lockwood estate. Benjamin has just died, and Eli Mills has taken control, locking Lockwood's granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) in her room and going ahead with his plans to bankroll further genetic research.

Claire and Owen discover that Dr. Wu has created a new hybrid called the indoraptor. Furthermore, Mills is auctioning off dinosaurs to the highest bidder. But in typical Jurassic fashion, this deadly dinosaur doesn't remain in its cage for long and kills several of the guests before attacking Maisie. Claire, Owen, and Maisie eventually trick the indoraptor so it falls through the glass roof and impales itself. Mills is killed in the chaos at the mansion. But when the group is faced with gas potentially killing all the dinosaurs within the mansion, Maisie makes the choice to let them all go free.

2019-2022: Dinosaurs spread across the world

One year after "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," dinosaurs have spread across North America and humans begin to encounter them more and more, and it's not long before they spread across the entire world. This is shown in the short film "Battle at Big Rock," which gives viewers an insight into what this new world looks like. Centered around one family of campers at Big Rock National Park, it begins when a mother and baby nasutoceratops wander around their campfire. But an allosaurus appears and attacks the baby. The human family joins the nasutoceratops mother and her mate in the fight against the allosaurus, and it eventually leaves when the young daughter (Melody Hurd) shoots it with a crossbow.

The film depicts just one of the many encounters humans now have with dinosaurs and is a precursor to what comes in "Jurassic World: Dominion." But before the epic finale can take place, the "Jurassic Park" timeline jumps over to the campers on Mantah Corp Island. Season 5 of "Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous" leads directly into the third "Jurassic World" film, re-establishing Lewis Dodgson's character. Voiced by Adam Harrington in the animated series and played by Campbell Scott in "Dominion," the CEO of BioSyn is the main antagonist for the remainder of the franchise. Although the campers foil his attempt to use mind control chips on all the dinosaurs on the island, he gets away with the technology, which will soon come into play.

2022: An epic final battle

Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant reunite in "Jurassic World: Dominion" as Lewis Dodgson invites them to tour his BioSyn facility, where Ian Malcolm now works. With help from Ian and Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie), they quickly discover that Dodgson and Henry Wu have been genetically engineering a swarm of prehistoric giant locusts to destroy all crops except the ones grown with BioSyn seeds. However, Wu needs Maisie Lockwood's DNA to fix a genetic defect in the locusts, so Dodgson has her and Blue's child, Beta, kidnapped from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Claire and Owen mount a rescue mission to save them, tracking them to Malta, where they meet cargo pilot Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise), who agrees to fly them to the BioSyn facility in the Dolomites. Inside the facility, Ellie, Alan, Ian, and Ramsay help Maisie escape and steal a locust sample in the process. Maisie reunites with her parents and introduces them to the "Jurassic Park" legends. To destroy evidence of his attempted crimes, Dodgson sets fire to the locusts, but the flames engulf the entire facility. He is killed by three dilophosauruses before he can escape.

However, he leaves the mind-controlled giganotosaurus as a parting gift. Thankfully, Rexy is there to save the day, and the group then rescues Wu, who plans to stop the locusts. Claire and Owen take Maisie home and reunite Blue with Beta. Meanwhile, Ellie and Alan get back together and plan to go public about BioSyn. The BioSyn Valley is declared a dinosaur sanctuary by the United Nations, leaving the world with the formidable task of coexisting with these prehistoric animals.