Perl programs bear a passing resemblance to C programs, perhaps because Perl was written in C, or perhaps because Larry found some of its syntactic conventions handy. But Perl is less pedantic and a lot more concise than C.
Perl can handle low-level tasks quite well, particularly since Perl 5, when the whole messy business of references was put on a sound footing. In this sense, it has a lot in common with C. But Perl handles the internals of data types, memory allocation, and such automatically and seamlessly.
This habit of picking up interesting features as it went along-regular
expressions here, database handling there-has been regularized in Perl 5.
It is now fairly easy to add your favorite bag of tricks to Perl by using
modules. It is likely that many of the added-on features of Perl such as
socket handling will be dropped from the core of Perl and moved out to
modules after a time.