Shouldn't many if not most zombies in The Walking Dead have their guts spilling out and the majority of their tissue eaten? Do zombies have a maximum capacity for food - after which they'd rather give the victim a scrape rather than a gorging?

  • 1
    I'd chuck it up to budget, but this is a common issue. Most movies show the majority of zombies with minimal injuries. If we figure most die from a single attacker, they could fight back and die before major damage is done. It's the people that get ganged up that would suffer major injuries.
    – cde
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 2:00
  • But no, most zombies don't have a food limit. Most zombies are shown that they eat regardless of an active stomach system, or even a benefit from it.
    – cde
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 2:17
  • Selection bias perhaps. The badly mauled aren't as effective and so tend to fall apart or get left behind.
    – Sobrique
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 15:22
  • There are many inconsistencies that one must overlook when considering a zombie apocalypse story: they are simply not feasible for a variety of reasons, this is one of them. There are two questions over at Worldbuilding which go into more detail about this and other similar topics: What are the requirements for the zombie in order to reach a full zombie apocalypse? and Would a zombie apocalypse be possible if a zombie existed?
    – user9311
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 3:00

4 Answers 4


In The Walking Dead, zombies do not attack or eat other zombies. In season 1, we see this explicitly... two protagonists manage to escape by covering themselves in so much gore that the zombies do not perceive them to be alive.

Thus, any victim of a zombie attack quickly falls into two categories: they're killed quickly or they're not killed quickly.

If the former, they almost immediately reanimate as a zombie. They're no longer subject to attack by other zombies.

If the latter, they're most likely still mobile and defensive, and thus able to evade further injuries (short term, anyway). They may crawl off and die later, or maybe even survive (I stopped watching at the end of season two... it's fuzzy for me if they survive bites and such).

In this way, almost everyone should eventually become a zombie. Only the most devastating attacks both kill their victims quickly and dismember them so completely that they will not become a zombie themselves.

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    Dismemberment is not sufficient to prevent turning into a walker. References: Michonne's walkers who have neither arms nor jaws; the dismembered heads in The Governor's apartment that still snap their teeth at nearby people; and Bicycle Girl from S1E1. There have been other less memorable examples of walkers missing substantial body parts.
    – user9311
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 2:57

I think your presumption that being a zombie == being eaten/bitten at some point is wrong.

It is TWD cannon that EVERYONE is infected by the virus, they just haven't died in order to be brought back by the virus yet. I don't know what the initial infection vector was, but for a lot of people it wasn't lethal. Only when they die from another source do those people turn into walkers, either by suicide, another infection, accident, what have you. So it's no surprise that a decent amount of the walkers have little to no physical damage to them.

  • The initial vector was likely some sort of superflu: very virulent, with a long incubation period. If you watch Fear the Walking Dead they tend to make that case by mentioning outbreaks in various states, closing schools because so many children are sick, etc. Some people fall ill and die from the disease, but most just carry it dormant (we know everyone is infected and will return after death from TWD).
    – user9311
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 19:40

If the Walking Dead is like most Romano Zombies, stomach capacity is not a limitation. They will eat and eat even if the stomach is full. The only thing that stops them is the end of normal brain activity in the victim. Once the normal living cerebellum activity stops, and the Zombie virus takes over, the zombies will stop their feasting. As death via trauma and blood loss can be fairly instant, that means the second the victim dies, the zombies will stop eating, hence the fairly intact zombies.

For example, death by Exsanguination takes between only 14 and 70 seconds.


There are probably cases where the person died naturally or via suicide. The zombies may not be able to reach a body or don't eat the whole thing. Although, yes the numbers should have decreased hugely by now, how else are they supposed to do a series if the antagonists are all dead and there are no longer any living dead.

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