Do zombies run? Do they learn?
No and no, not really. Classical zombies are slow and awkward. They do not think, except in the most vestigial sense; they may feel some affinity for objects, people, or behaviors with which or whom they were very familiar in life (a butcher zombie might indeed walk along still holding his cleaver, for example, but he would not use it as a tool except to flail it along with his whole arm, unthinking and unfeeling).
In that respect zombies most certainly do NOT use tools unless they get lucky. They don't open doors by operating the handles, either. They simply pound their way through things, grasping and shoving and grabbing and bashing. Thus, an unlocked door won't stop them for long -- nor will a locked door, because they just crash through it. In neither case do they actually possess the fine motor skills necessary to operate latches, handles, knobs, and locks.
It may be possible to condition zombies to perform certain rudimentary behaviors, albeit in a very inconsistent and unreliable way. There is canonical film precedent for this. Does this consitute independent thinking and learning? I don't think it does, but the point could be argued.
Do zombies feel pain?
No, though damage may slow them -- and it may confuse them if it is severe enough.
Why do zombies feed?
Nobody knows. Zombies don't digest food because their bodies are dead. They do, however, feel only one driving emotion and/or impulse -- the desire to eat the flesh of living creatures. We don't know why, but this is the overriding, driving force behind all zombie behaviors.
To what stimuli do zombies respond?
Zombies are drawn to noise and to visuals like light, fireworks, explosions -- to activity. This is why humans comprise their primary prey, because in any given location, humans are likely the noisiest and most obvious living creatures. When one zombie identifies prey, it will vocalize -- instinctively -- moaning and yelling in a way that inevitably draws more zombies. Gunshots, being very loud, are sure to draw any zombies in the area.
Do zombies fear fire?
No. Zombies are too stupid to fear fire and will wander around flaming without bothering to notice. This is why incendiary weapons are poor anti-zombie implements; they tend to produce ambulatory, flaming zombies whose depredations are unaffected but whose burning flesh poses additional danger to people and property.
How long do zombies live?
All zombies eventually rot or are physically damaged to the point that they cannot continuing preying on humans. Left alone and imprisoned, for example, a zombie will eventually rot and dessicate to the point that it is effective "dead again." Studies are inconclusive as to exactly how long this takes or how "dry" a zombie has to get before it will never get up and move again. A non-mobile zombie can linger quite some time, moaning and perhaps trembling.
Do zombies see in the dark?
No. Zombies don't sleep, either. They operate in the same manner night and day.
Are zombies super-strong?
No, although they are stronger than living people of the same size and muscle mass (at least initially) because they don't feel pain and have no limitations on what they will do. A zombie will destroy its own body in pursuing prey, much like someone high on PCP will rip muscles and break bones because he or she does not feel pain.
What is the best way to kill a zombie?
Destroy the brain. A shot to the head from a suitable firearm is best. Any implement that pierces the skull and destroys the brain will do, however. Severing the head is not sufficient because the severed head can still bite you.
What is more effective -- wrecking bar or baseball bat?
Some form of crowbar is better than a blunt weapon like a baseball bat because it can be used more easily to pierce the skull. As an added benefit, it can also be used to pry open locked doors -- a definite plus in emergency scenarios.
Does anybody recommend severing the head with a sword? Take for instance a head shot that severs the brain in half or does the brain have to be shattered in pieces? I guess I mean for in close fighting after all other options have ceased. I really like the shotgun blast that completely destroys the brain. That sounds righteous.
You could use a sword for fighting zombies, but it would be messy and problematic at times. Sticking the brain with a sword will generally kill the zombie, but trying to decapitate a zombie at the half-way-head mark (slicing the head in two to sever the brain) would require advanced sword skills and a very good blade -- it might even be impossible. I would take a sword with me as part of my zombie kit, using it to hack my way through zombies in order to damage them (attacking limbs to stop them from grasping, attacking legs to harm mobility) -- and you could thrust through eye sockets if you can manage it in the stress of melee zombie combat. I think, however, that if you must go to that sword, you are sorely, sorely screwed. It's more useful as a supplementary weapon that doesn't use ammo.
Are all parts of the zombie venomous? Or is the zombie venom just located in their mouths.
Zombies don't have venom -- their bodily fluids contain zombie pathogens of some unknown type. A bite imparts these pathogens, as does the introduction to your body of any droplets of blood or saliva from the zombie.
If one accidentally ate zombie flesh or were scratched by a zombie, would that have a lethal effect?
Eating zombie flesh, unless it was cooked to a cinder, probably would infect you. Getting scratched probably wouldn't unless the part of the zombie scratching you was itself bloody or otherwise carrying bodily fluids.
How long is the incubation period from the time of the bite until the victim notices the symptoms. And how long from the time he notices the symptoms does it take for him to turn into a zombie?
This is extremely variable and depends on many factors -- the amount of pathogens introduced, the severity of the wound, the health and stamina of the victim, etc. It could be anything from almost instantaneous (in the case of someone horribly killed by a zombie, who almost immediately rises again) to a few hours, a day or two, or even (in the case of a very small introduction of pathogens) a week or two.
Most people seem to have the biggest zombie problems at night. Is it because zombies are primarily nocturnal , or is it because most sheeple don't carry good tac lights ?
Everyone needs a good tac-light and should buy one from me. Apart from that, no, zombies are not nocturnal -- they operate day and night in the same fashion. As LK said, people have zombie problems at night because A) it is harder for them to see what is going on and they are more likely to be taken by surprise if sleeping; and B) zombie movies are way scarier if filmed at night.
You may recall, however, that the original Night of the Living Dead starts in the daytime.
How should I fortify my house against zombie ambushes? What about the windows? I want to have enough time to get my belt fed machine gun ready.
Strong boards will work; bars are better. Anything that leaves space for you to fire out also provides the zombies a means of reaching in, so keep that in mind.
Are dogs good zombie deterrents?
No. Zombies do not fear them and the dogs are likely to become infected if they attack the undead.
Will an electrified fence cook the zombie brain?
Yes, and the muscles of the undead body are susceptible to the effects of electricity just like a pithed frog's. The zombie will jerk and spasm on the fence until it jerks free or until it cooks dead. Keep in mind that for an electric fence to kill a zombie, it must be of sufficient current to be fatal to a living human being.
Couldn't light and noise be our ally? For example, set an ambush using light and noise as you would a feeder for deer.
Absolutely. Zombies are not smart; they are not fast; they are not especially dangerous except in large numbers or when their prey is cornered.
In the remake of Night of the Living Dead, the humans -- once organized into hunting parties -- have little difficulty rounding up and destroying the undead. One imagines they could have used the same ambush tactics -- draw zombies with gun fire and then blast away, for example.
Once the undead become truly numerous -- say, as a result of a "cosmic" outbreak -- it becomes much more difficult to deal with them. We then see the type of civil unrest and societal collapse exhibited in the Dawn of the Dead films.
How do Zombies differentiate between other Zombies and Humans? What keeps them from attacking each other?
It has been theorized (in the Walking Dead comics, for example) that it is smell. I think it is more likely some innate ability to sense the bodily processes of a living human being -- heat, most likely, or perhaps even the EM field generated by a living being. Nobody really knows.
I was thinking, if zombies are gradually rotting, wouldn't their blood have coagulated. Or does the zombie stuff/venom cause the blood to remain in a liquid state?
The pathogen that causes the undead to animate may or may not affect the natural process of coagulation. Certainly zombies do eventually rot and dessicate to the point that they are immobile mummies, for all intents and purposes.
If you chop of their heads, would the head still be in a semi-concious state and be able to bite you?
Yes, a decapitated head remains fully animated and can bite and infect you.
What wavelengths of light do zombies see best/worst? After all, humans can detect white light at much longer distances than red, even at similar brightnesses...
Zombies see in the same spectrum as do living humans. Zombies do not possess heightened senses of any kind and may, in fact, experience a degradation in vision and hearing depending on the state of their physical bodies (and any damage thereto).
Will a really bright light temporarily blind and disorient a zombie? I.E. do I want to use a really bright xenon bulb, or will that just attract other zombies?
Zombies may momentarily pause when confronted with very bright light, but because they do not feel pain, they will not experience the same disorientation that a human will experience when subjected to sudden bright light during low-light conditions.
How will the lack of fine motor control affect zombie vision?
Zombies are slower to notice things and to react to things.
Given that they stagger rather than walk, will they have difficulty seeing at certain ranges without bifocals? If so, what are the optimum ranges for stalking a zombie without being spotted?
Zombies do not rely on precise vision and they lack the ability to read, making bifocals a moot point. It is possible to sneak up on a zombie if one remains outside the normal range of human vision. Zombies have relatively little peripheral vision because they have such slow reflexes and mental capacities. Even if they do see things on the periphery, they are slow to take note of and act on these things.