Research conducted the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, suggests that zombies may not moan, and it all boils down to the meaning behind a dog’s bark.

The extensive study concluded that barking in dogs is a signal associated with a clearly definable behavior known as mobbing, a cooperative anti-predator response. By contrast, wild animals normally have plenty of room to move, so when they hear something they silently run away or towards the source.

But even in the wild, animals that can’t flee or attack will bark, explains head researcher Kathryn Lord:

“Even birds bark, and certainly many mammals besides canines, including baboons and monkeys, rodents and deer also bark.  In a whole bunch of mammals and birds, what they do in conflicted situations is bark.”

They bark as a warning to a perceived threat to leave the area, and as an alert to other potential prey that danger is near.

But because zombies are thought the be single-minded predators with no defensive instinct at all, and because it’s widely held that zombies don’t hunt in coordinated teams, the argument for a moaning zombie seems flimsy at best.  If they’re not trying to ward off a threat, or alert their partners, why would they bother making any sound at all?  Noise only reveals their position and makes their objective harder to obtain.

What do you think?  Are zombies loud and obvious hunters, or are the lethal, stealthy and focused?

Feature image via: Flickr.com


  1. Hello. And Bye.

  2. I think that the reason why zombies moan is not because they are hunting, but because the zombies are mimicking a human distress call, like when you see a bad car wreck and the person is moaning in pain.
    well what if the zombies are mimicking humans in pain to lure or entice curious and or sympathetic humans to them so the zombies don’t have to chase down the humans.

  3. I think like everything else, zombies would make noise. A normal hunter remains quiet before shooting or attacking it’s prey, but zombies aren’t living with much sanity, they wouldn’t know to be quiet to not draw attention to themselves. Maybe zombies moan to alert other zombies that a prey is nearby.

  4. I can see both sides of this argument. Remember, zombies are creatures of pure instinct, the sole purpose of one is to spread the virus it is infected with. Therefore, it would make sense a zombies instinct is to moan when it sees viable prey. However, Moaning would suggest teamwork or the ability to recognize excitement because of food sources. In World War Z, Max Brooks states that zombies are incapable of both, so I would go with the recent research that zombies CANNOT moan. However, both sides of this argument are up for debate.

  5. Zombies are not evolved creatures, so it doesn’t make any sense to reason about a natural use of their moaning. A decomposing and dessicating body should send all sorts of odd signals to the brain, and likewise the brain would work with what it did in life in some very random ways.

  6. Zombies are idiots bigtime. 🙂

  7. What you are suggesting is that zombies have the mental capacity to know that moaning would alert prey to their position. From knowledge on how the disease devolops in its victims it completely destroys all brain function other than the primal instinct to hunt and eat. Therefore zombies wouldn’t realize that they are moaning they would be solely focused on obtaining their next meal. And, for the sake of argument, let’s say they do have that kind of brain power left I think they would use the moan to their advantage. First use would be a pschological warfare-like tactic, breaking down their preys will and making them afraid and consequently less able to think rationally. second use would be a sort of pack attack tactic. We all know zombies should be easily faced when only one is encountered, but when a group can surround you, you have trouble. So the moan could be used to alert others to the presence of prey and allow the zombies the tactical advantage.

  8. They do can moan, not because of alerting anything or even communicating at all.
    The do so because of their human dead instinct. We humans moan when sleepy, hungry, tired, relaxed or injured. Something in our brain makes that reaction, natural reaction, thus it remains when our conscience has deceased.

    It’s a mere reflex. Nothing like a hunting manouver whatsoever.

  9. They are looking at this the wrong way. Dogs bark when the reason comes around. Humans talk when the reason comes around. We, as a human being, don’t moan as a defensive measure. We moan for other reasons, like the well known moan if you know what I mean.

    How a zombie moans is when air is sucked into the lungs and slowly escapes; which causes a deep long moan. When they are searching for food they only focus on their eyes, ears, smell, and movement. So they tend to just do the same thing and can trap air in their lungs over time. When they see movement or pray they get excited (AKA Meal time!) and being to move more faster and give all focus onto the pray. When they do this you can say their chest gets tighter which causes the lungs to slowly release the trapped air. The air hits the vocal cords and creates a sound. That sound is a moan, sometimes we mistake it for rushing wind. They don’t do the moan on purpose but the moan is like a side effect on their change of mood.

    Of course there will always be different factors if this statement is true or not. Like what kind of zombie we are facing when the outbreak does begin.

  10. This reasoning makes no sense. If, in fact, zombies CAN moan – and that’s the real question – they have enough brain power to register a reptile-brain excitement at the prospect of eating. If they breathe, it is a simple thing for an increase in respiration to vibrate the vocal cords. All the literature also points to a ersatz “pack behavior” TRIGGERED by moaning. Swarms can’t occur without some behavior that draws large numbers of zombies together.

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