SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Scientists are studying a dead whale which washed ashore Christmas Eve on Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco.

According to the Marine Mammal Center, on Monday a team from the California Academy of Sciences went out to examine the whale, which is thought to be a male humpback around 30 feet long, a center spokeswoman said.

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Then a larger team from the Marine Mammal Center and the Academy conducted a necropsy on Tuesday, in an effort to determine what killed the whale.

Curious beachgoers were out on Tuesday, taking photos of the huge mammal.

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“I think it’s sad that it’s chopped up,” Ginny Duncan said. “I kind of wish it was a whole whale but it’s really beautiful and it’s nice to see a piece of nature on the beach — it’s normally very empty out here.”

The last whale that washed ashore near Point Reyes was in May.

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It was a blue whale that had been struck by a ship.