Can Walkers Starve To Death

Brent Mccoy
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 18 min read

Aragon Apr 30 @ 9:40am About walker biology: Why don't the walkers starve to death ? Glen Marmara has been busy answering fan and press questions over the last couple of weeks.

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We recently took part in a press conference call with him and fans have been able to submit questions over Twitter and the official AMC website for The Walking Dead. Earlier in the week, we posted some of the more interesting answers from his Twitter Q&A session.

Now, were back with select answers posted on The Walking Dead website: But let's keep in mind that from the time of the Pilot to the end of Season 2, we think it's only been about four months.

When we are introduced to Machine, she appears to have two walkers in her company who are shackled. A: She hasn't tortured those walkers into submission, but let's say this: Machine is the one person in The Walking Dead universe who has figured out how live on her own.

A: Daryl would be in the background, overshadowed by his brother and not having a friendship with Carol, not being able to find a role, not being able to be the hero that he's become. A: The group is upset with Rick in general for keeping Jenner's secret and killing one of their own.

She decides to take action by talking to Rick, so when Lori is horrified by Rick's confession, yes, she is upset a man she loved was killed but more importantly, that man was killed by another man she loves, and she was a catalyst... She is horrified by her own culpability and is projecting that self-hatred onto Rick. A; Moving ahead to Season 3 we're excited to be getting to the meat of Robert Kirkman's comic book.

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A: I'd just like to say on behalf of all the cast, crew, producers and writers at The Walking Dead -- just thank you. You know they have been incredible and so supportive and patient and really caring about what we do, and it really does make this the best job in the world.

You agree that even if they lose their arms and legs and all their blood, they don't die. You probably agree that they don't need to breathe, and that they can stay alive underwater.

If you're so worried about zombies getting a good dinner, so they don't starve, why aren't you concerned about making sure they get their 8 glasses of water every day? You know that people die from dehydration much faster than starvation.

They eat people to spread the infection and increase their numbers. In the game, there's a part in Episode 4 where they find the zombie of a kid who died of starvation.

The zombie doesn't have strength even to crawl and that became kinda depressing for the main characters to watch, so one of them decides to end this little zombie's eternal suffering with a hit/shot to the head and then bury him. In the show they come across a zombie that has been hanging, unable to eat, presumably for a long time, and it is as animate as ever as it attempts to grab at them.

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Additionally, in one of the latest (might have been the last) episode, a couple characters discuss how the “world has no future”, which granted may not have anything to do with whether zombies need to eat, but you would think that they would hold out hope if they knew that zombies could die of starvation. Since they don't “really” need to eat in order to not die (after all, they're already dead), there is no danger to them from that side.

However, moving, walking, and other actions will clearly use energy, which would presumably indicate the need for some kind of nourishment. Muscles clearly work, as does part of the brain, but we don't know if anything else gets shut down (like the digestive system).

My guess is that they don't really need to eat, they just use the energy from their own bodies to survive, breaking down things like cells and skin and organs they don't need as they go on. As the apocalypse goes on(especially in the game) you can see that zombies become more and more rotted, and there are fewer fat ones left around active on the streets.

There is a comment, in the show (don't ask me which season or episode, I just know I've heard it) where someone mentions that they do starve, just quite a bit slower than humans, since they're not alive. Thus, even zombies, begin dead, would expend some form of energy to continue walking around, threatening, and eating people.

One would assume, this is why the zombies eat other living creature, to maintain their energy levels which deplete over time. As zombies only operate at a very basic level (a lot of our biological systems don't appear to be functioning) they probably expend energy at a substantially lower level than you or I do, but expend energy they must, and thus (if they don't eat) they will eventually reach a point where their energy levels drop so low they would cease to be animate (i.e. they would “die” a second time).

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In Letter Hacks #14 and #111 it's stated Zombies eat for impulse and possess no functioning digestive system, with what they've eaten being forced out once its full, unprocessed. The worse state of older zombies holds the key; when a human starves, the body will break down fat, then muscle, followed by vital organs.

The slide in mental function seems to imply the parts of the brain stem re-animated are cannibalized in the process. Since zombies do not digest, this would be how they survive, and the slower decay that stops them being a bare skeleton in a matter of a few weeks, (#9 and #11) could easily be the virus' way of preserving and stretching its 'food' source.

They would end up running out and 'starving' (in a manner of speaking), but there is no indication of how long, other than that a surviving human would most likely outlive it, through the years, and that a zombie's lifespan would differ depending on the individual, (#7); which makes sense, given body fat ratio, muscle density, state of organs and tissue changes from person to person. The fact the zombies die off, alb eight slowly, happens whether they eat or not.

I'm not sure, but at the end of season 1 they find out that the walkers die and then come back to life, but with only part of their brain working. Zombies can probably survive for years without eating, but I think if they don't feed on living humans to keep them alive then they'll probably will start feeding on themselves since there's nothing else for them eat that is living.

But the energy needs of the brain stem probably so low that breakdown of body could provide for extended period (months, years?). End result of zombie with no access to food, like any other animal lying long enough on the roadside.

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Going to throw this out there.... As stated in the episode of the CDC when they come back to life it is due to what ever virus strain that allowed them to come back with minimal brain activity. Eating would be a primal, instinctual act like how a dog spins repeatedly before lying down (some believe this behavior is done, so the dog can find wind direction so when they lay down his/her nose will be facing the wind to smell trouble as it comes, or simply to soften up the ground).

Over time as they rot they lose functionality until everything stops working. That being said, I think the bigger question would be why do humans not turn when zombie blood gets on a cut or in the eyes or ingested, why only when bitten or scratched.

They will die when they lose some primary ligament, purification or decompose. In some episodes they eat horse, rats, etc when they don't have human as a target.

In Indonesia, Polkas in South Sulawesi, we have some old tribe magic that can make people who died a few years ago to get walk to their own burial place. In this tribe area you shall prepare all black suit, no other color, no technology device.

First slowing them down second an adrenaline rush that makes it want food even more, so they attack (more) silently.waiting in a good place for let's say 6years will make them slow perfect for a raiding trip to get food and guns When they have no food for a long time, and their stomach starts eating itself, and the brain doesn't have enough energy, the zombies will die.

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The reputation requirement helps protect this question from spam and non-answer activity. Zombies, mostly referred to in-universe as walkers, monsters, roamers, geeks, lurkers, biters, Puerto, infected and empties, are an antagonistic force that serve as the primary catalyst for the events within The Walking Dead universe.

Zombie: The reanimated corpse of a human being that has regained limited function and mobility, as well as developed an insatiable hunger for flesh. Reanimated human beings, while not immortal, will not “die” under typical conditions that would ordinarily cause the death of a living person.

They do not appear to feel or respond to pain, can survive even the most brutal injuries, and despite their bottomless appetite for flesh, they do not need food, water, or sleep to function. 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.

While the walkers are notoriously weaker than humans, the only way to kill one is to destroy the brain. 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. The characters within The Walking Dead TV series and comic books come up with their own monikers and categorizations for the undead.

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“Walker” is a term for a member of the legions of the mobile deceased, who have come to dominate the world following the outbreak of the contagion that spawned them. This is the term used most frequently by Rick Grimes' and Lee Everett's respective groups of survivors, and to refer to reanimated corpses who are not dormant.

In the TV Series, Hershel Greene had his leg bitten by a lurker and Rick had to amputate it, so he could survive. Oftentimes, lurkers have suffered some type of major injury or are otherwise in some kind of weakened state, preventing them from walking around.

As described by Eugene Porter in the comic book, a herd is when a group of Walkers acts with a mob mentality. One zombie might brush his hand on a door knob, and another will see this and mistake it as an attempt to get in.

An example of this is in the start of the Season 2 finale where a zombie sees a helicopter and follows it to Hershel's farm. Alice Warren, Dr. Stevens assistant in Woodbury, mentioned that her original group of survivors referred to the zombies as “biters”, because, while some do lurk or roam, they will all bite, so to classify them into separate groups was considered a silly practice.

“Biters” is what Woodbury calls the zombies, as seen in the novel, comic, and TV series, as well as Caesar Martinez's group. Floaters are zombies that became bloated after spending a long period of time in the water.

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One was first encountered by the survivors at the Greene family farm in the TV series where it was found trapped in a well. Fearing that shooting the floater might result in polluting the well, the survivors decide to pull it out.

This proves to be futile as it gets stuck on the lip and splits in half, the bottom part of its body (and most of its innards) falling back into the well. The term “lame-brains” was first used in the TV episode Nebraska by Dave and Tony, strangers that walk in the local bar not far from the Hershel's farm.

It seems to be a broad category for all zombies, equivalent to the term walkers “. In the video game, Chest, Clementine, Alvin Jr., and Brenda St. John call the zombies, “monsters”.

The name most likely originated from the fact that the zombies' intelligence levels are very low, so they are just considered mindless puppets of meat. This name is used when Dale Format and T-Dog encounter a bloated zombie trapped in the depths of a well while living at Hershel's farm.

This term is used by Trees in the Comic Series while talking to Rick about how he fears more the living than the “half-rotten ghoul trying to eat my flesh.” Carla from the Video Game also determinately calls them this when Lee asks if Doug saved her.

This name is used by Daryl in Survival Instinct, during his talk with a cop called Jimmy Blake, who is hiding in a shelter on the roof of a building. In Survival Instinct, the remaining Survivors in Oak view calls the zombies “Goons”.

Used in The Walking Dead Webisodes: The Oath, a small horde is called a “swarm” by Paul and Karina. Used to describe the undead by Sam and Ana in The Walking Dead season 4, episode 4 Indifference “.

His grandmother refers to the zombies as Wendigos, a mythological cannibalistic monster from Algonquian folklore as the Fairbanks family are Native-American themselves. A term used by Merle Dixon in Survival Instinct, referring to the herd moving towards a bar his gang was holed up in.

A term used by Anderson's group to describe walkers that wear thick armor. 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.

Scientist Dr. Edwin Jenner did not even rule out the possibility that the disease is of supernatural origin. Instead, it remains dormant, likely within neural cells in the brain, leaving its host visibly and physically healthy.

Only when the host dies, does the pathogen become active, infecting and reviving neural structures in the brain stem and certain parts of the cerebellum, turning a human into a zombie. A zombie is thus a condition a recently deceased host enters when the pathogen is in its active stage.

The zombie pathogen seems to possess two separate, but parallel modes of infection: latent and fluid contact/bites/scratches. It is currently unknown how one contracts the dormant stage of the pathogen, though its apparent total infection rate worldwide suggests it is either air-borne, water-borne, or both.

Once infected, the virus spreads throughout the body through the blood, likely concentrating in the central nervous system. While zombie scratches and clawing rarely cause fatal infections, the deep gouges generally left by zombie bites are almost always fatal; death can be potentially avoided if the bite is on an appendage, which must be immediately amputated.

Or any part of the body directly into the blood stream causes infection, fever, and death, as evidenced by Began's successful tactic to cover weapons in zombie flesh and guts for one-hit kills. Television Universe It is unclear in the TV-series whether the rule of infection above from the comic series is applicable.

Sasha accidentally cut Abraham's arm with her zombie-blood soaked knife, yet he survived, indicating that the rules in the television series are different to a degree. However, in Season 8, due to a shortage of bullets, Began orders his men to dunk their weapons in walker guts to use to infect any living survivor with one slash (very similar to the comics) and the Saviors are successfully able to infect numerous residents of the Hilltop colony by injuring them with their coated weapons.

At one point, Daryl Dixon states that this method of infection isn't the same as being bitten, that some people turn and some don't. However, this is contradicted by Tara Chamber who points out that everyone but her who got hit by tainted weapons fell ill and turned.

In Tara's case, it is believed that Dwight purposefully shot her with a clean arrow to save her life. In all probability, the injuries to Shane and Abraham mentioned above were not fatal because their wounds were not deep enough to get infected.

Gabriel Stokes got ill in this manner, though Began, who used blood from the same walker and put it unprotected on his skin, did not. However, this is simply transmission of already present illnesses and not contagion that turns people into zombies.

As seen in Season 10, it appears that spreading walker blood through a water source does not contaminate it with the pathogen. After the host dies, the dormant pathogen enters the active stage and will begin the process of reanimating the body through the infection and reactivation of neural structures in the brain.

No matter how an individual dies, unless their brain was severely damaged or destroyed, they will reanimate into a zombie following death. The pathogen enters the active stage when an individual dies and is responsible for the host's reanimation as a zombie.

In the event that amputation fails or is not possible, it is believed that the active pathogen then induces a fatal and irreversible cytokine storm, causing a high fever, aches, extreme fatigue, and nausea. At the climax of the infection, the adrenal glands hemorrhage and the brain completely shuts down.

The time between the onset of the symptoms and death, followed by reanimation is very dependent on the severity, location, and quantity of the bite wound(s) of individuals who cannot be saved. In The Good Man of Fear the Walking Dead, Elizabeth Ortiz, after spending time with military doctor Bethany Ever, implies that all the infection itself from the bites does is kill the person.

Dizziness Weakness and fatigue Fever Delirium/hallucinations Chills Nausea/vomiting Pale skin Diluted pupils Soreness Fluid discharge Spontaneous aggression or anger Fainting Hair loss and missing scalp pieces Dehydration Coughing up Blood Pale yellow sclera (video game only) Delirium (video game only) Internal hemorrhaging Organ failure If you stub your toe, get an infection and die, you turn into a zombie, UNLESS your brain is damaged.

As seen on the MRI of Candace Jenner, when a person dies, the active pathogen they carry enters the active stage, and reactivates critical areas of the brain that it infected, specifically the brain stem and some parts of the cerebrum and cerebellum that support necessary vital systems such as movement, resulting in reanimation after a variable amount of time. In the TV Series, it was stated by Dr. Jenner that (according to all gathered evidence and research available at the time) a corpse can reanimate between three minutes and eight hours after death, though there are instances where reanimation seems to happen much quicker, and the video game suggests that it could happen in seconds.

Television Universe In the show, it has been demonstrated that zombies don't require sustenance by eating, but have a strong desire to do so. Zombies do not need to breathe, evidenced by Pete Dolmen still trying to reach for humans while underwater.

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. As zombies decay, however, their muscles, and consequently, their entire body, becomes slowly, but surely, weaker.

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, zombies can 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.

Susceptible to group behavior that makes movement easy to predict and control. 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.

They have no sense of self-preservation other than eating, and will not react at all to the deaths of other zombies or to potentially lethal dangers to themselves. 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.

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. If they spot prey when stimulated, they can pursue them ceaselessly, showing ravenous hunger.

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 aggressiveness the reanimate contagion seems to have given them. Nicholas Clark was able to use this technique several times without incident after discovering it by accident.

Notably, on the first time he did it, the walkers continued to ignore him even after Nick killed several. During the final battle of the Whisperer War in A Certain Doom, ” the Coalition used this trick to great effect to pass through a massive horde and later to infiltrate it and silently assassinate their enemies within.

This technique was first discovered by Machine who kept her combined boyfriend and his friend in chains after cutting off their arms and jaws. Additionally, unfamiliar survivors may shoot camouflaged humans, thinking that they are zombies.

The video game section shows all characters that can potentially turn undead, regardless of player choice. However, as the sensor, problem-solving and coordination centers were completely disabled and inactive, it does not make sense that walkers would be capable of using tools, and possess hearing and smell beyond that of humans.

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.

Another instance is in season 6, episode 3, when Rick comes across two walkers, one of which has a knife stuck in the shoulder. In Season 10, the Whisperers infecting Alexandria's water supply with walker blood and guts combined with Dante turning off the filtration system only gives the residents' cholera, presumably from the natural bacteria in the walker remains.

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 eat it, but never shows any sign of infection afterwards.

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.

According to Robert Kirkman in episode 2 of Talking Dead, in the TV Series, the works of George A. Romero were never made, and thus zombies do not appear in fiction. In the Fear The Walking Dead: Radio Waves podcast, a conspiracy theorist claims to have found proof that the infection was caused by the government as a means of population control.

Scott Simple believes the walkers decaying vision attracts them to fire. 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.

When Gabriel got sick, he and Began, who remained fine, had no way of taking extra precautions. In Worth “, Eugene Porter theorized the infection Gabriel got had to be influenza or cryptococcosis and was likely airborne.

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 2012, interview panel with Lauren Cohan and Steven Yen For the concept of a “zombie herd” being carried to the horrifying extremes, see David Moody's Autumn series.

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