Printable 3D Model. Ticks (Ixodida) are arachnids, typically 3 to 5 mm long, part of the superorder Parasitiformes. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acari. Ticks are external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks evolved by the Cretaceous period, the most common form of fossilisation being amber immersion. Ticks are widely distributed around the world, especially in warm, humid climates.