A Starfield player roleplaying as a scientist has made a genuine in-game scientific discovery.
In the Starfield subreddit post below, one player explains that they're roleplaying a "white-coast scientist build," forgoing quests in favor of surveying planets. It's a pretty "chill" experience, as the player explains, but enigmatic beetles kept giving them strange problems.
The trouble is, the player would come within inches of fully researching a planet, only to find out that the beetles they needed to analyze to cap off the whole thing would be notoriously tricky to locate. However, the player noted that the absent beetles would always have "Scavenger" in their name, hinting at their role on the planet.
To solve this mystery, the player employed the trick of following 'Predator' creatures on a planet to where they engaged with and slaughtered 'Prey' creatures. This must've taken quite some dedication, but it paid off in spades, because not long after witnessing the 'Prey' creature being slain, the 'Scavenger' beetles showed up to reap the rewards, just as their name suggested they would.
So the real discovery here is that Starfield's planets actually employ food chains. There's multiple species of creatures interacting with one another at any given time, even though the vast majority of Starfield's 1,000 planets are almost exclusively procedurally generated - save from a few handcrafted locations that Bethesda's devs keep in their back pocket to spruce up planets.
It's also a great reminder that roleplaying can extend beyond how player's interact with other characters. This player, roleplaying a scientist, doesn't fulfil their character role by tackling conversations from the perspective of scientist, but instead puts the emphasis on planetary interactions. The scientist probably won't be shooting up animals with a laser gun.
If you're also roleplaying a scientist, or an explorer, you'll want to check out our Starfield survey data guide for how to make as much money as possible from your research.