Melbourne Feb. 2016. Paleontologists are excited about the discovery of a Mickey Mouse fossil that dates to the Early Cretaceous period, and may be up to 115 million years old. The fossil was discovered coincidentally by animation director Steve Bristow on a remote stretch of coastline near Cape Otway in Victoria, Australia. The site of the discovery is near "Dinosaur Cove", Cape Otway, where scientists in the 1970s and '80s, unearthed the richest diversity of animal fossil samples ever found in Australia.
The age of the fossil predates the Disney creation by around 115 million years, which would therefore put Mickey Mouse in the public domain, which may have serious legal implications for the House of Mouse.
Paleontologists surmise the prehistoric mouse came to grief in what was then a warm tropical muddy swamp, which over millions of years formed into the sedimentary rocks that are a feature of this particular stretch of coastline.