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Dear Tom and Ray:



Please help me settle an ongoing dispute I'm having with my four best friends. After discussing the new elephant arrival at our city zoo, we contemplated how much the elephant might weigh at birth. I stated that it would be somewhat like delivering a small car. Half of the group is certain that a car weighs more than a ton. Those of us who are more reasonable know that a car could not possibly weigh a ton. Please help us resolve this matter -- it's driving us crazy. -- Seattle Girls

TOM: Well, you've come to the right place, girls. In addition to our extensive knowledge of cars, we also happen to be elephant experts.

RAY: You might be surprised to learn that a newborn pachyderm only weighs between 200 and 300 pounds. About the same as a mother-in-law!

TOM: Whereas the average car weighs about a ton and a half -- or in the neighborhood of 3,000 pounds. These days, the lightest cars on the road weigh just a little bit less than a ton, and the heaviest passenger cars are in the 2-1/2-ton range.

RAY: So, as you can see, birthing an elephant is nothing at all like birthing a car. It's more like, well, birthing a 250cc motorcycle. Which, when you think about it, is probably no walk in the park, either!
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