I had a lot of luck to observe animals and plants, plants kingdom was part of my education and I never was able to understand it well until recently.
This summer I studied one of most essential "groups" of creatures that ever put their "paws" on Earth, I studied The Ants.
The key in this "study" was to observe different species in different genus, to see what they are made of, what they are doing and how they are so successful.
Usually, people call it just "ants", there are two different types of ants (for normal human) "winged ants species" and "regular ones", well, there's something wrong with this.
First of all, ants are from "hymenoptera" order which means they do have wings, not regular but "membranal wings" (to express my self as that), however, those wings, for ants are present only with ones that do not need to return to home.
Alates - ladies and lords - very small part of population in one ant nest.
Every year, each mature "society" produce as many alates as they can, some are weak, some are strong, usually, strongest ones goes unseen from humans because they are rushing to start own colony.
So, there's no classification on only two species, each nest can have winged ants. Hmmmm... wait a second, how in the hell so primitive brains can live on mountains in cold climate and also in desert?
Are they so smart and clever?
No, they are clever (as society, while not so as single), but there is so many species, each "dedicated" by their "equippment" to similar conditions. That's how we have "wood ants" and "true wood ants" or "sand ants"...
Ohh, I remember now, but I've seen small red ants that live on ground, and also black ones, very big and scarry, are they all "soil ants"?. No, yes, they all live in soil, but they are not "soil ants", each difference on them are described and measured so that species can be identified, that's how we have so many species.
Each species is, as I said, especially developed for specific job, even in most of species of old ants, each caste in same species have specific job, and with most modern ants too.
For example common black carpenter ants in US are dedicated to be "pests and destroys nice furniture and house parts" that humans make of wood. Alex Wild (famous insect photographer) has lots of problems because he (and most of normal people) do not want his photos on "pest control" products.
If you take one ant, in carpenter's colony, it's needed 3 months to be raised, full grown black ant, and you step on it without even knowing...while you would demand your government to build nuclear bombs to kill godzilla if there would be one sqashed human on street, right?
How do they handle this? Well, since they do not have emotions, they have instincts, and for each unit in nest there's special task, and those tasks are handled by instincts and by experience.
Colony of black carpenter ants that lives in front of my house do like to eat small yellow ants that lives everywhere, so, I had opportunity to watch this "feeding frenzy". There were one ant that had been "injured" by yellow one, head of yellow one was attached to his leg, I tried to catch this ant and she (or better say IT) was running away, finaly I caught her and removed head of yellow ant from her leg and I placed her on ground.
She went back to nest of yellow ants to continue "feeding" but after several minutes she got another ant on her antenna, I caught her again (this time easier) and removed yellow one. Each another time it was easier and easier to get her to climb on my finger and to stay calm while I try to remove yellow ant. At final, she was walking in circle until she found my finger.
I am free to conclude that they are learning and that they are capable of learning new things which is called "addaptation". But there is also greater intelligence, the while colony is "organised" on their own, just by trusting each other and their scent trails that they can almost safely transfer their larvae and pupae from satelite nest back to main nest and vice versa.
Colony of ants can be seen as one super organism where each individual is just a cell (as it really is). Each cell is developed to be what it is, before it's even born.
If small worker is very very fast for some reason and have very very good sight (better than her sisters) ... that doesn't mean that this ant is not natural talent for hunt, it's just that this small worker is a small worker and it will never be hunter.
This idea triggers my brain to think about humans, I have small niece who goes to elementary school, plays quitar, paints...but she has so many obligations that she will never be able to be perfect "hunter" or perfect "small worker" because we, humans, teach our youngs to be capable of doing so many things.
Each segment of our "exploration" brought us so many informations that we can not process so easily, we have to learn different languages, different music genres, different grammars...can one student be able to contain all those informations in its brain? Will we be forced to use 98% of our brains to have decent jobs? or we will became like ants?
Small worker is not in less rank than super-big worker, nor queen in ant nest is prioritized by other members. Ants decides so move - queen is taken by her antennas like cow or goat to new nest...she do not have any rights except to be fed, taken care of... so that she can bring more eggs and increase size of super organism.