If you are worried about the zombie apocalypse, there are some tips that could save you from joining the ranks of the undead. A forensic scientist from Rutgers University has a handy survival guide, while a naturalist has weighed in on how long a zombie apocalypse would last.
A few weeks. That's how long someone would need to survive the zombie apocalypse, according to National Wildlife Federation naturalist David Mizejewski. Weighing in on the popular subject in the wake of the "Walking Dead" premiere as well as Halloween, he notes that zombies are on everyone's mind but is looking to alleviate some fears. As Mizejewski explains, it is natural to be scared of the dead, saying in his blog post on Boing Boing, "We humans are evolutionarily pre-programmed to abhor the dead bodies of our own species. It's a natural reaction, helping healthy individuals avoid fatal pathogens."
With this built-in fear, humans may not have to worry about banding together, stockpiling weapons and food in order to be safe. In fact, humans may have a natural, and very much living, ally. According to Mizejewski, zombies are walking, delicious food for predators. Zombies are slow, and there are many animals that would gladly feast on decaying flesh. "Carrion is on the menu for a vast number of species, from tiny micro-organisms to the largest carnivores," said Mizejewski. Turkey vultures, ravens, crows, bald eagles and California condors would have a veritable zombie buffet, and the sheer amount of food could help boost the numbers for the endangered condor.
Mammals would also contribute to reduce the number of zombies roaming around as bears, coyotes, jaguars and wolves would take advantage of the walking snacks while other animals, such as elk or bison, would serve as battering rams and inflict a great deal of damage to the undead. Reptiles, insects, such as flesh-eating beetles, and bacteria would play a supporting role, decomposing the rotting flesh. While Mizejewski does not give a specific timeline, it looks like a zombie apocalypse would be rather short-lived.
As humans wait for wildlife to finish off the zombies, Kimberlee Sue Moran, from Rutgers University, has some handy survival tips. According to Moran, zombies will either be too stiff, due to rigor mortis, or too decomposed, due to putrefaction, to pose much threat. Max Brooks, author of "World War Z" and "Zombie Survival Guide," says it is all about thinking clearly. Having a plan, sticking to it and caring for your fellow humans will give you the best odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse.