The carcass of a 10-meter-long whale that washed ashore on a beach in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, last Sunday has been confirmed to be a blue whale — the largest known animal to have lived on Earth.

The National Museum of Nature and Science, which examined the carcass, said the whale was several months old and had died several days or weeks ago. It was the first time a blue whale has washed ashore on a Japanese beach, it added.

The museum and the Kangawa Prefectural Government on Monday dissected the carcass and removed it from the beach, using a heavy machine and a truck. The museum said it will examine the whale's stomach contents and DNA.