In most zombie apocalypse scenarios, only humans are converted into the shambling undead. And according to one naturalist, that's why zombie takeovers are doomed to fail. In the war between zombies and nature, nature would win.
Over at Boing Boing, there's a terrifically funny and informative essay by National Wildlife Federation naturalist David Mizejewski on all the ways that wildlife would reduce a zombie incursion to piles of bones. Everything from carrion birds, who eat rotting flesh, to bears, wild cats, and even mountain goats would take those dull, slow zombies out.
Here's a great bit on how jaguars would hunt zombies:
Even bigger and more powerful than mountain lions are jaguars, which range through Mexico and are still sometimes found in the desert southwest of the United States. Jaguars also hunt by stealth, and have a special technique to quickly dispatch their prey: a skull crushing bite to the head, delivered with their huge canine teeth. A jaguar bite delivers 2,000 pounds of pressure per inch, the most powerful mammalian bite on the continent. That, combined with a killing technique perfect for dispatching zombies, makes the jaguar its natural predator.
Watch this video of a jaguar making short work of a caiman. A zombie wouldn't stand a chance against these big cats.
And if animals didn't get them, the bugs would. Writes Mizejewski:
Ultimately, it's not the North America's mega-fauna that pose the most threat to zombies. In nature, there are a whole host of tiny creatures whose main purpose is to feed upon and break down the flesh of the dead: the decomposers. Zombies, with their rotting flesh, are obviously not immune to these decomposers (what do you think causes the rotting effect?), many of which are too small to see with the bare eye. Bacteria, fungi, molds, insects such as fly maggots or flesh-eating beetles, and other invertebrates, all make up nature's diminutive clean-up crew. And it can obliterate a dead body in surprisingly little time. The clumsy undead wouldn't have the dexterity to pick off these decomposers, even if they could see or feel them. It would just be a matter of time. Stripped off all soft tissue, including brains, the zombies would be reduced to hollowed-out skeletons.
Not convinced? Check out this video of a rabbit being consumed down to the bone, by wildlife decomposers, in just a week.
Read the rest of this incredible essay, which will make you feel safer from zombies — and less safe from everything else — over at Boing Boing.