(some classic examples of thinking that divine providence is providential enough. continued from here)
Prolific Rabbits, Savage Lions
Well, I suppose divine providence, which, as far as I can tell, is wise, made it so all the timid and edible animals produce many offspring. That way they would not go extinct by all being eaten up. And it made it so all the savage and violent animals produce few offspring.
Take the following case: the hare is hunted by everyone—beast, bird, and human being. Obviously, then, it produces many offspring. It is the only creature that can conceive when it is already pregnant. Some of the young in her belly are hairy, others are bare; and some in the womb are finishing taking on their shape, others are just starting out.
That’s one kind of case. Another is the lioness, who is very strong and bold, and bears a single cub once in her lifetime, since she casts out the womb with the cub. The cause of this is the following: when the cub first begins to move about in the womb, its claws—much sharper than those of all the other beasts—tear the womb. The more it grows, the more it tears and scratches, and when it is close to being born, there is absolutely nothing healthy left of it.
καί κως τοῦ θείου ἡ προνοίη, ὥσπερ καὶ οἰκός ἐστι, ἐοῦσα σοφή, ὅσα μὲν ψυχήν τε δειλὰ καὶ ἐδώδιμα, ταῦτα μὲν πάντα πολύγονα πεποίηκε, ἵνα μὴ ἐπιλίπῃ κατεσθιόμενα, ὅσα δὲ σχέτλια καὶ ἀνιηρά, ὀλιγόγονα. τοῦτο μέν, ὅτι ὁ λαγὸς ὑπὸ παντὸς θηρεύεται θηρίου καὶ ὄρνιθος καὶ ἀνθρώπου, οὕτω δή τι πολύγονον ἐστί: ἐπικυΐσκεται μοῦνον πάντων θηρίων, καὶ τὸ μὲν δασὺ τῶν τέκνων ἐν τῇ γαστρὶ τὸ δὲ ψιλόν, τὸ δὲ ἄρτι ἐν τῇσι μήτρῃσι πλάσσεται, τὸ δὲ ἀναιρέεται. τοῦτο μὲν δὴ τοιοῦτο ἐστί: ἡ δὲ δὴ λέαινα ἐὸν ἰσχυρότατον καὶ θρασύτατον ἅπαξ ἐν τῷ βίῳ τίκτει ἕν: τίκτουσα γὰρ συνεκβάλλει τῷ τέκνῳ τὰς μήτρας. τὸ δὲ αἴτιον τούτου τόδε ἐστί: ἐπεὰν ὁ σκύμνος ἐν τῇ μητρὶ ἐὼν ἄρχηται διακινεόμενος, ὁ δὲ ἔχων ὄνυχας θηρίων πολλὸν πάντων ὀξυτάτους ἀμύσσει τὰς μήτρας, αὐξόμενός τε δὴ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐσικνέεται καταγράφων: πέλας τε δὴ ὁ τόκος ἐστί, καὶ τὸ παράπαν λείπεται αὐτέων ὑγιὲς οὐδέν.
When it comes to the mouth, as well, there are differences among kinds of fish. Some have a mouth that goes straight across and is in the front, while others have it underneath, like dolphins and selachians. And they turn belly-up when they feed. It seems nature does this not only to preserve all the other animals (when the dolphins are turned upside down, they move slowly and the other animals can get away – all such animals are carnivorous), but also so that they are not guided by gluttony for food, since if they could get their food easily, they would be destroyed because of the rate at which they would fill themselves up.
Ἔχει δὲ καὶ περὶ τὸ στόμα διαφοράς. Τὰ μὲν γὰρ κατ' ἀντικρὺ ἔχει τὸ στόμα καὶ εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν, τὰ δ' ἐν τοῖς ὑπτίοις, οἷον οἵ τε δελφῖνες καὶ τὰ σελαχώδη· καὶ ὕπτια στρεφόμενα λαμβάνει τὴν τροφήν. Φαίνεται δ' ἡ φύσις οὐ μόνον σωτηρίας ἕνεκεν ποιῆσαι τοῦτο τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων (ἐν γὰρ τῇ στρέψει σῴζεται τἆλλα βραδυνόντων· πάντα γὰρ τὰ τοιαῦτα ζῳοφάγα ἐστίν), ἀλλὰ καὶ πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἀκολουθεῖν τῇ λαιμαργίᾳ τῇ περὶ τὴν τροφήν· ῥᾷον γὰρ λαμβάνοντα διεφθείρετ' ἂν διὰ τὴν πλήρωσιν ταχέως.
Aristotle, Parts of Animals, 4.13, 696b24-32