The blesmols, also known as mole-rats, or African mole-rats, are burrowing rodents of the family Bathyergidae. They represent a distinct evolution of a subterranean life among rodents much like the pocket gophers of North America, the tuco-tucos in South America, or the Spalacidae from Eurasia.
Modern blesmols are found strictly in sub-Saharan Africa. Fossil forms are also restricted almost exclusively to Africa, although a few specimens of the Pleistocene species Cryptomys asiaticus have been found in Israel. Nowak (1999) also reports that †Gypsorhychus has been found in fossil deposits of Mongolia.