Bolt ran the third leg of the relay, then handed the baton to former 100-meter world record-holder Asafa Powell. Bolt yelled and pointed as Powell began the anchor leg.
The Jamaican quartet, which also included Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, eclipsed the old 400 relay mark of 37.40 set by the United States at the Barcelona Olympics in the 1992 and tied by the U.S. at the world championships a year later.
Bolt added that to the records he set in winning the 100 meters (9.69) and 200 meters (19.30) in Beijing.
The Jamaicans were nearly a full second faster than relay silver medalists Trinidad and Tobago, which finished in 38.06. Japan took the bronze in 38.15.
The United States failed to reach the men’s 400 relay final when it dropped the baton during qualifying Thursday.