When a human becomes a zombie, what do they do? Forage? Just walk around moaning? I hope not, that would be very dull to write or read about. This of course brings to the front the argument about zombie intelligence. Before you say they have none, they must have at least a most primitive spark for body coordination in a walk, avoiding objects, identifying food – brains, if you like. That brings up another question. If you are what you eat, it almost confirms that zombies have brains that function.
If they have the ability to look for food, either passively or actively, they must evolve some sort of ‘hunting’ mechanism. There is a methodology that appears throughout the animal kingdom called the Lévy Walk. It consists of short spells of localised foraging and then a longer trek to another area where they repeat the localised foraging. If you wanted to hunt it would be a singularly useful approach to take – if you can’t find any food in this area move somewhere else.
Interestingly, this is the approach I used in my sequel to The Common Cold – Cabin Fever. At the outbreak of the infection the cities filled with the walking dead, the streets packed with those turned. Just as suddenly they disappeared from the streets, apparently moving into the countryside. What initiated this movement? Lack of food source or mental stimuli (warm bodies presumably) but maybe there is something deeper inside us than that. Perhaps it is a mechanism hard wired into our brains from our earliest existence, an autonomic response that stays with us in the event of no more other life events.
The Hadza tribe in Tanzania is an interesting case in point. They are one of the last people in the world to use consistently traditional, long-term methodologies for hunting. It was found that although they did use other approaches to finding prey during a hunt, the Lévy Walk was their favoured technique. Perhaps we have been bequeathed this capability from our ancestors – it seems a perfectly logical and relatively simple mechanism to retain, so what if zombies also retained this knowledge from their forefathers? Would it give us reason to fear them more or less? You decide.
The article that stimulated this blog can be found at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529960/Humans-hunt-like-SHARKS-Hunter-gatherers-forage-food-mathematical-pattern-used-predators.html
Zombie books by David K Roberts:
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Royally Shafted (working title for sequel) currently on my website blog