ZOM-BIE: (Zom’be) n. also ZOM-BIES pl. 1. An animated corpse that feeds on living flesh. 2. A voodoo spell that raises the dead. 3. A voodoo snake god. 4. One who moves or acts in a daze “like a zombie.”

In Max Brooks’s book, The Zombie Survival Guide, he says that the virus that reanimates a zombie is called Solanum. It works by traveling through the bloodstream, from the initial point of entry, the bite, to the brain. The source of Solanum is still unknown. Solanum is 100 percent communicable and 100 percent fatal. There is no cure. Infection can occur only through direct fluidic contact. The most common means is a zombie bite.

This is the time frame from infection to reanimation from Max Brook’s

Hour 1: Pain and discoloration (brown-purple) of the infected area. Immediate clotting of the wound (provided the infection came from the wound).

Hour 5: Fever (99-103 F.), chills, slight dementia, vomiting, acute pain in the joints.

Hour 8: Numbing of extremities and infected area, increased fever (103-106 F.), increased dementia, loss of muscular coordination.

Hour 11:Paralysis in the lower body, overall numbness, slowed heart rate.

Hour 16: Coma.

Hour 20: Heart Stoppage. Zero brain activity.

Hour 23: Reanimation

For more check out his books. He talks about outbrakes and what you can do to keep yourself alive when the zombies take over the world.

Behavioural Characteristics
  • Zombies primarily crave human flesh.

  • They will consume living or freshly killed bodies.

  • Zombies have also been known to consume other living organisms although this is irregular.

  • Zombies appear to be able to discern the difference between another zombie and a living human based on sight only.

  • Zombies will not attack each other although they have been known to fight over food.

  • Zombies often frequent places they are familiar with from their normal life.

  • Zombies may be quite weak in the initial stages of reanimation.

  • They seem to increase in strength over time. People are not so capable of breaking free from them once a zombie has hold of you. They are also capable of tearing apart a human being with apparent ease.

  • Zombies retain some knowledge or memories from past lives.

  • A dead body will rise within a few hours unless the brain is destroyed.

  • Zombies appear largely incapable of normal speech. Some specimens have retains very rudimentary ability in this area.

  • Some zombies appear to be capable of simple reasoning or have a limited intellectual capacity.

Zombie Physiology

The next step is to analyse in more detail the aspects of their physiology. This information was either stated in the movies or can be determined based on observation.

  • A zombie must have the brain damaged by an exterior source in order to terminate its existance.

  • The reanimation only seems to affect humans.

  • The normal decay process is drastically slowed down or inhibited.

  • Fluid levels within the organism appear to be maintained, otherwise the animated corpse would simply dry up and be unable to function. Yet we never see a zombie drinking water or liquid, except through the consumption of food.

  • A zombie does not require food for sustenance. A zombie with all its internal organs removed will continue to function. It has not been indicated to what extent the removal/damage of the internal organs will affect the longevity of the reanimated person.

  • A zombie can also function without the normal flow of blood, since it has been remarked that the heart stops beating. This critical fact means that cells are not supplied with nutrients and fluid in the normal manner. Yet the cell structure seems to remain intact over a period of years.

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