Pleistocene Mammoth Faunas were the most successful, cold-adapted large mammal assemblages in the history of the Earth. However, the causes for their emergence can not be attributed only to the global trend of climate cooling which occurred during the Neogene/Quaternary period. The formation of the Eurasian Mammuthus-Coelodonta Faunal Complex was a result of interacting tectonic, geographical, climatic, ecological and phylogenetic processes. The key environmental factors controlling the origin and evolution of Palaearctic cold-adapted large mammal faunas were successive aridification of major parts of Eurasia, rhythmic global climatic cooling with prolonged and intensified cold stages, and increasing continentality.Between 2.6 Ma and around 700 ka BP, largely independent mammal faunas became established in continental Asian steppe regions as well as in the circumpolar tundra. Both faunal complexes were adapted to open environmental conditions but were largely separated from each other. The principal requirements in order for species to evolve into members of Mammoth Faunas are progressing adaptation to aridity, decreasing temperatures and rapid temperature fluctuations. Eurasian Mammoth Faunas were mainly composed of the descendants of either Central Asian steppe or Arctic tundra faunal elements. The majority of species of Central Asian origin emerged in regions north of the Himalayan-Tibetan uplift. Between 640 and 480 ka BP, saiga, musk-ox and reindeer occasionally spread far beyond the limits of their respective traditional areas, thus anticipating the subsequent merge of steppe and tundra originated species in Eurasian Mammoth Faunas. During the pronounced cold period of MIS 12, tundra species regularly expanded south- and southwestward into a newly formed type of biome, the so-called tundra-steppe. In parallel, species originating from the Asian steppe dispersed into new habitats north and northwest of their ancestral distribution areas. This drastic faunal turnover led to the formation of the earliest pan-Eurasian Mammoth Fauna at around 460 ka BP. The sister taxa of several species involved in Mammoth Faunas underwent separate evolution in Central Asia, thus indicating ecological differences between the Asian core steppe and Eurasian tundra-steppe habitats. During temperate and humid stages of the late Middle to Late Pleistocene periods the transcontinental reach of the steppe-tundra biome collapsed. As a result, the majority of the characteristic mammal species were forced back to continental steppe or Arctic tundra refugia, only returning during subsequent cold stages when the formation of a new and more evolved Mammoth Fauna began. The maximum geographic extension of the Palaearctic Mammuthus-Coelodonta Faunal Complex occurred during the Late Pleistocene, when it covered an area of up to 190 degrees of longitude and 40 degrees of latitude.