PSA: This is intended for a zombie novel that I am writing. I happily will take suggestions and friendly discourse. Obviously this is a work of pure fiction. This has been a public service announcement from that super cool super good looking zombie from Michigan
The Zombie Biology is a different take on zombie fiction. Instead of a pathogen infecting people, the disease is an ancient pathogen trapped in the human genome. It is activated by a toxic substance found deep in the ocean. Once the toxin contaminates water supplies, it activates the disease in the human DNA causing it to become highly contagious.
Symptoms of the Zombie Disease
Early symptoms (10 minutes to 5 hours after infection)
- Loss of coordination
- Bouts of anger
- Formation of malignant tumors on the brain
Later Symptoms (6 to 10 hours after infection)
- Loss of Rational Thought
- Extreme Hunger
- Bleeding of the Eyes and Nose
- Skin Discoloration
- Homicidal Rage
Final Symptoms (24 to 72 hours after infection)
- Slow Heart Beat
- Low Blood Pressure
How The Zombie Functions
The brain tumors act as a catalyst to rewrite human biology. Tumors produce specialized cells similar to stem cells that allow healing without the need for heart beat. Basically the tumors act like the heart and brain. Normal human biological function is no longer needed in the zombie organism. The lungs are re-purposed to pump the zombie equivalent of blood to the brain tumors. The liver, esophagus, stomach and the large intestine merge into a single organ. The purpose is to allow digestion of human flesh and blood, human flesh dissolves and the liquid is sent to the lungs.
Zombies and Sleep
Zombies do sleep but not in the conventional sense. After 4 to 7 days the zombies will go into secluded places where stop moving and most functions shut down. The purpose of this is to allow muscles to regenerate, bones to heal and the re-purposed stomach/digestive system to remove excess materials from eating. This lasts 5 hours, once this sleep ends the zombies resume hunting humans.
Once reanimation is completed all skin cells harden as a form of biological armor. The brain tumors will send an unidentified chemical to the skin after digestion process. This armor is flexible and twice as dense as the human skin. Using kitchen knives as a weapon is completely useless.
Zombies primarily eat human flesh and drink their blood. If there is no humans around then the zombies will eat cats, dogs, squirrels and other small mammals. If the zombie plague were to become global and most animals are wiped out by the undead, they would start to consume plants. If plant matter is ingested zombies will start to develop green skin as their biology will absorb chlorophyll. Once this is achieved the zombies would rely on the sun for energy. This form of adaption is unlikely.
Eyes function normal as does hearing. Removal of excess waste is achieved by directly sending it to the rectum. The bladder completely dissolves. The ribs are merged into a single plate of bone to protect the zombie digestive system. Kidneys and the liver merge into a single organ, the purpose is filter human blood of some pathogens.
Zombies do use their eyes to see much like a human does.
Ability to Evolve
Zombie intelligence can increase if they eat human brains. They will absorb the memories and skills of the victim. Zombies rarely eat brains as the density of the human skull would break their teeth. A secondary form of evolution of intelligence is exposure to two human pathogens. They are Polio virus and Rabies virus. Genetic material absorbed from the viruses will create higher brain function. Virus exposure leading to evolution is much more likely.
Zombies who consume between 90 to 150 pounds of muscle will cause faster cell regeneration and lessen the amount of sleep need. The need for sleep does not go away at all though.
Evolution of zombies is limited however, intelligence and regeneration are the only things that can evolve.
Destruction of a Zombie
Complete decapitation is the best solution to stopping a zombie. Even if a small amount of brain remains they can still heal and regenerate.
Use of genetically modified bacteria and fungi is a possible solution to stopping a zombie.
One last solution to stopping a zombie is to use very high powered explosives. This would include napalm and nuclear weapons. Use of nuclear weapons is strongly a bad option as fallout would heal zombies not destroyed by the blast.