(I touched this one up recently, so it should look better now.)
Among my most favorite animals are ocean animals. I've always found animals like whales, sharks, & rays to be among the most facinating. I thought those giant manta rays were cool. So imagine my surprise when I saw that one in Mario 64! (And it was more then just a background ellament. You could get a star from the ray)
Funny thing in a recent issue of Nintendo Power they had an interview with Satoru Takizawa an art director at Nintendo. He said he was the one who designed the Manta ray, as well as the vulture, and giant eel in Mario 64. He also designed the human version of Ganon and Twinrova sisters in "Zelda: Ocarina of Time." He also designed a few bosses and some of the landscape in Star Fox 64. He's even working on the new upcoming Zelda game.
I thought I'd take this moment to pay some homage to him, sence when we play video games, or watch movies, we usually don't think of all of the people that worked hard on them.