A central area of study at the Zombie Research Society is the undead’s ability to differentiate its living prey from others of its own kind.
If they hunt by sight, then walking like a zombie could afford potential victims functional invisibility. If they hunt by smell, then certain anti-odor measures could be employed. But ZRS Head Matt Mogk believes that zombies may use their sense of touch to find, capture, and devour their prey.
Mogk points to the hunting technique of the smallest predator on the planet, the Etruscan Shrew, to support his hypothosis:
“The tiny shrew must eat twice its body weight every day to keep from starving. And the animals it hunts – crickets, cockroaches, and spiders – are often as big as the shrew itself. That means it’s constantly looking for its next meal, and does so using touch.”
He goes on to explain that the shrew spots potential prey visually, then moves in to feel and confirm. Much like a zombie reaching out for its next meal, the shrew decides what to attack by touching targets with its nose and whiskers.
Because it’s widely believed that zombies are cold blooded, and because their imperfect body is dead and rotting, it stands to reason that the undead would have no trouble identifying a warm, soft, living person using the touch method.
Interestingly, this may also explain why zombies are thought to move about in packs. If they gather together to investigate each other through touch, they would then be in a naturally formed group as they move on to seek out humans to eat.