He and his colleagues noted parallel changes in the genes for three digestive enzymes whose job is to liberate two particular amino acids, lysine and arginine, from proteins.
Both lysine and arginine are abundant in meat, but in short supply in bamboo.
The team also noted parallel changes in four genes that encode proteins involved in the metabolism of two vitamins, A and B12, and of arachidonic acid, a lipid essential for bodily function.
All of these are scarce or non-existent in bamboo as well.
Exactly how the genetic changes seen alter the effectiveness of the proteins involved remains to be determined.
But the prediction would be that they enhance the availability of the nutrients in question.
The upshotis that the two pandas do indeed seem to have similar genetics underlying their similar peculiarities.
Such similarities are, admittedly, easier to find than different genetic routes to the same outcome would be.
But Dr Hu has established that, at least in the case of pandas, natural selection has often taken the same paths to arrive at the same outcomes.