Naturally, the real-world plausibility of WalkingDead zombies should be taken with a grain of salt, but that still doesn't explain a number of glaring things that don't make sense. Frostbite, ice buildup and other effects should have a detrimental impact on a walking corpse despite its undead status.
While it stands to reason that a packed city would have legions of undead patrolling the streets, extremely large hordes have been traversing the post-apocalyptic rural areas of The WalkingDead as well. Eventually, the number of undead would start to drop over time, since hordes would reach a particularly lethal size before completely devouring their human prey.
Those who manage to sustain a bite usually get away before dying and reanimating later on, but sooner or later the pendulum would shift, and there'd be fewer walkers because of it. Part of this might have to do with the viral outbreak targeting the existing brain tissue and reanimating it to perform basic functions.
As far as The WalkingDead has revealed, the virus responsible for the zombie outbreak reanimates the brain and gives it enough juice to turn a corpse into a bipedal nibble machine. Just as the rate of decay makes little sense, so too does the lack of bugs responsible for breaking down the body after death.
Typically, certain insects such as maggots will make short work of consumable materials fairly quickly before bigger and beefier bugs show up to take care of the tougher stuff. It makes no sense to see zombie corpses effectively frozen in time without scores of creepy crawlers devouring them as nature intended.
Rigor Morris occurs shortly after death and can last an average of 72 hours, at which point the condition recedes. Freshly killed humans reanimate just when rigor is supposed to set in, which makes no sense from a biological standpoint.
Brain activity doesn't prevent rigor Morris, as the condition is dependent on calcium ions in the membranes of muscle cells. Eyes depend largely on oxygen, and since they're a soft tissue, they are prone to dry out and decompose rather quickly.
Several episodes have shown survivors dousing themselves in the blood and guts of the undead in order to mask their scent, so they can walk freely among them. The virus responsible for modification reanimates the brain and keeps it going just enough to perform the most basic of biological functions such as walking and eating.
While the origins of the zombie outbreak in The WalkingDead is unknown, every character in the show is infected with the pathogen that causes the dead to come to life. The pathogen only becomes active when the host dies, reviving some parts the brain and cerebellum in the process which causes them to transform into a zombie.
The zombies from The WalkingDead have such a powerful sense of smell that they can detect scents from miles away and can differentiate them between the living or dead. In both the television series and the comics the show is adapted from, human characters can disguise their scents by covering themselves in gore, undead flesh or anything that smells of decay.
Over time, the zombies eyesight deteriorates, but their heightened sense of smell is their greatest asset and proves the most dangerous to Rick and his group of survivors. The undead are inhumanly strong and possess enough strength to tear apart a human or animal with relative ease and rip apart limbs with little effort.
While the zombie's strength depends on how long they've been reanimated, they can produce enough force to overpower even the strongest of humans, making them incredibly dangerous in combat. Shots to the head, decapitation and spinal cord severing are the only things that can kill or weaken a zombie.
In the first season, a zombie girl does stop to pick up a teddy bear, hinting at some form of memory to her life among the living. Mack Hellman (27 Articles Published) Mack is a pop culture writer and nerd from Oregon who enjoys binging Netflix, listening to Star Wars audiobooks, watching James Bond movies, and reading interesting, behind-the-scenes facts about his favorite movies and TV shows.
Infectious biteInfectious scratchInfectious bodily fluidZombificationInfestationForming vast hordesSelf-sustenanceFireproofnessSuperhuman durabilityEnhanced strengthLimited intelligence While not immortal, reanimated human beings will not “die” under typical conditions that would ordinarily cause the death of a living person.
The brain maintains limited abilities of the body, allowing for movement of the limbs (provided that they are not decomposed to the point where the bones are not strong enough to bend without breaking), jaws, neck, and even the use of its sensory systems. Despite severely weakened frames, they will continue to hunt for living animals to consume.
Even when decapitated, the head will remain active, even though it would be practically harmless at such point. Well... bites, and direct to blood contact with zombie gunk, causes death.
Zombies are relatively weak and unintelligent as individuals, but are dangerous in large numbers and in tight spaces. As a species, Kirkman's zombies do not evolve and are permanently doomed to just deteriorate until there's nothing left but the skeleton.
Everyone in The WalkingDead universe somehow contracted the pathogen that, for reasons and through means unknown, brings the dead back to “life.” It is unknown how the disease is spread, though its apparently total infection rate worldwide suggests it is either waterborne, airborne, or both.
The pathogen itself does not kill its hosts, but it seems to weaken their immune systems considerably, to the point where even minor illnesses are far more likely to be fatal than normal to humans. When a person dies, the infection they carry reactivates critical areas of the brain that support necessary vital systems, resulting in reanimation.
Because only a portion of the brain is reactivated, the reanimated person retains only a physical resemblance to their former self. “ ~ Robert Kirkman the TV Series, it was stated that a corpse can reanimate between three minutes and eight hours after death, though the video game suggests that it could happen in seconds.
The first cases of infection progressed through a state of fever, aches, and internal bleeding, and this illness ultimately was fatal. A variable time later, the pathogen, through some means, would revive synapses it infected and reactivate the brain stem and other parts of the cerebrum and cerebellum of the dead body.
In the comic book, the group commonly encounters two zombie types: wandering, noise attracted “roamers,” and lethargic “lurkers”. In the show, it has been demonstrated that zombies don't require sustenance by eating, but have a strong desire to do so.
They can also use sight to distinguish the living from the dead, although they seem to have poor eyesight as their irises fade and decay over time. Darkness seems to have little effect on zombies senses at close range, and in areas devoid of light they can still find their way around as they would in the day.
When attacking, zombies often become more lively, exhibiting full-body effort, and can produce enough force to quickly overwhelm an adult human. Although slow and seemingly unintelligent when not active, they can react quickly to sufficient stimulation, and can rapidly overpower a victim they have taken by surprise.
Anything other than a head attack, spinal cord severing, or dismemberment leaves them seemingly unfazed. If they are pursuing a possible victim, zombie scan move somewhat more quickly, roughly equivalent to a very light jogging pace.
They are difficult to shake off if they do manage to grab their victims, often allowing their arm to be ripped off before they will begin to let go. A reanimated body responds to stimuli such as light, scent, and loud noises.
The body of a zombie does appear to be truly dead, which means that it does not feel pain, has no reflexes, and wounds to it will not heal; its rate of decomposition slows drastically but does continue. There is anecdotal evidence that some retain vestigial elements of memory and personality and this is shown some repeating behavior such as clinging to possessions, attempting to open doors, and even using large rocks to break through windows and doors.
Zombies instinctively bite whatever prey they come in contact with, but have also been observed clawing at, tearing, and even punching humans and animals in order to topple them. Any time a human dies they will reanimate, bitten or not, unless their brain is destroyed or severely damaged.
One possible explanation is that, through bites, the pathogen induces a rapid immune system response that accelerates the onset and severity of symptoms caused by bacteria in the zombie's mouth. While zombie scratches and clawing rarely cause fatal infections, the deep gouges left by zombie bites are almost always fatal; death can potentially be avoided if the bite is on an appendage, which must then be immediately amputated.
Even if an amputation proves successful at removing the infection, blood loss is also extremely dangerous due to the generally unprofessional execution of the procedure. In the comic series, getting zombie blood, bile, saliva, or any part of the body directly into the blood stream causes infection, fever, and death, as evidence by Began's successful tactic to cover weapons in zombie flesh and guts for one-hit kills.
A severed head will remain animated and aggressive until the brain is destroyed or eventually disintegrates from decomposition. Fire has little effect on zombies, other than possibly angering them further, and normally lethal things such as acid or electricity also do little to impede them.
Zombies have enough intelligence to walk upright, to use their bodies to break objects, and to climb around or over somewhat small obstacles such as chain-link fences. They cannot generally operate doors or gates and only attempt to do so when they are relatively “fresh”; they tend to bash through obstacles rather than traversing them.
When stimulated, whether by noise, sight of prey, or simply encountering a problem they cannot solve, such as being unable to open a locked door, they quickly descend into a state of murderous aggression. They are not hunters, however, and take no concern in alerting their victims or trying to hunt them with intelligence, always seeming to roar, grunt, and growl whenever they are stimulated.
Newer zombies may rarely use primitive tools, such as using a heavy brick to smash a window, but none have any high-level abilities to use items in their environment. They lack any remaining speech capabilities, and can only moan, grunt, or wheeze, as well as roar and scream when alerted.
Zombies are never shown in any media to exhibit cannibalistic tendencies, even after going through long periods without food, and only show interest in animals and living humans. The presence of many zombies being partially consumed or missing limbs also indicates that zombies, though they seem perpetually hungry, do not always devour prey fully, meaning that, at least for a short period of time, can feel “full” and not want to eat.
In the TV series, the Walker that consumed Lori Grimes' body was lethargic, sated and full, and did not attack Rick when he arrived on the scene. Still, they can be driven to attack and consume live prey due to the sheer aggression the reanimated contagion seems to have given them.
In the TV Series, walkers are shown mainly in Guts and Bloodletting to run at a very light jogger's pace, despite the fact that Kirkman has stated in the past that all zombies run at the same pace as those seen in the Romero films. It is possible that the blood of a zombie being consumed directly or indirectly does not affect a human in any way.
During the midseason premiere of season 2, Nick watches from an abandoned bus as two dogs that recently attacked him get devoured by a swarm of walkers. After the herd slowly moves on, a very hungry and thirsty Nick crawls up to the dogs' mangled corpses and takes a chunk of the meat and proceeds to bite it.
He never actually swallows it but the fact that the walkers were chewing on the flesh of the dogs and Nick not getting infected may indicate that consumption has no effect. In season 1 of the TV series, the walkers' eyes were generally gray or yellow with a red libel ring, but in the season 2 webisodes, “Cold Storage” and the later episodes of the TV Series, their eyes are generally gold.
Older and more decayed walkers, however, have mostly or completely faded irises, leaving only dark pupils. *In the FWD podcast Fear the Walking Dead : Radio Waves a conspiracy theorist claims to have found proof that the infection was caused by the government as a means of population control.
In Guts “, a walker is seen displaying intelligence by using a rock to break the glass of a department store in which a group is hiding.