The more I look at the way this game currently is and the way people hope it will be, the more obvious it seems to me that the current style of play just isn’t going to cut it.
Right now, you play this game by directly controlling what is assumed to be a nominal member of your species. But, I feel that this doesn’t get the right feeling across with how the game should be.
The game is supposed to simulate evolution while giving the player control over the actions of their species as a whole, which is why I propose a new method of gameplay.
Instead of directly controlling your creature, what if it was to take a more RTS like approach. In this way, you could direct the actions of your creature without having complete control over them. This would also allow better for the senses of your creature to actually come into play. Additionally, this would allow packs and herds to form naturally in gameplay by giving the player access to more creatures, as well as provide a much smoother transition into the later stages of the game.
With a format like this, the specific behavior of your species would play a role as you direct actions, but your creature goes out to perform them in whatever way it can without controlling it yourself.