"A" vs "The"

Hi there, What is the difference between and The in the following sentences?

  1. No other animal is as tall as a/the giraffe.
  2. A/The Inland Taipan's venom is the most venomous one in the world.

My grammar book says when we want to talk about a race or a whole class we use the. But still I am unable to decide or the which one I should use. Can any please explain the meaning of each of the sentences using and the. And which one do you think is more appropriate?

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