Ediacara-type macrofossils characterize the late Ediacaran Period and are pivotal in understanding the early evolution of animals on the eve of the Cambrian explosion and useful in late Ediacaran biostratigraphy. They have been discovered on almost all major paleocontinents, except the North China and Tarim blocks, as well as on a series of northwest-west–oriented cratonic fragments between the two blocks, including the Olongbuluke terrane of the Qaidam block, where the terminal Ediacaran successions developed. We report a newly discovered terminal Ediacaran biotic assemblage, the Quanjishan assemblage, containing Ediacara-type fossils from the Zhoujieshan Formation of the Quanji Group in the Olongbuluke terrane, Qaidam Basin, northwestern China. The Quanjishan assemblage is dominated by the non-biomineralized tubular taxon Shaanxilithes, which has the potential to be a terminal Ediacaran index fossil, and by the iconic frondose rangeomorph Charnia, which represents the only unambiguous Ediacara-type fossil discovered in northwestern China. The co-occurrence of Charnia and Shaanxilithes from the Quanjishan assemblage likely constrains the depositional age of the Zhoujieshan Formation to be terminal Ediacaran (ca. 550–539 Ma) and the immediately underlying Hongtiegou diamictites to be late Ediacaran, probably representing post-Gaskiers glacial deposition. The occurrence of post-Gaskiers Ediacaran glaciation and similarities between the late Ediacaran – early Paleozoic lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic sequences in the Olongbuluke terrane of the Qaidam block and the North China block suggest that these two blocks may have been located close to each other during this time period, and situated in the middle to high latitudes instead of the equatorial region.

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