Spiny oysters are not actually oysters; they’re more closely related to scallops. They are bivalve mollusks who live the warm waters in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) on the Baja Peninsula and thrive from North Carolina to Brazil. Their hinged shells have dangerous looking spines which serve as protection, giving them their name. Their colors range from light pink to brown, with orange a common choice. Colors vary from region to region, based on what the mollusks eat and the depth of water where they live.