Perl is a general purpose programming language, it is intended to be a practical language (easy to use), it offers multiple programming paradigms (procedural, object-oriented and functional), it also has a vast collection of third-party modules.
Perl is a interpreted language (scripting language) which means it does not have to be compiled before running it, although this means that it is not as fast as C or Java it is very quick in that you can change the code and run it immediately.
Perl offers the following
Perl was originally named 'Pearl' after the Parable of the Pearl from the Gospel of Matthew, but the creator Larry Wall wanted to give it a short name, however before Perl release it was discovered that there was already a programming languages called PEARL so the name got changed to Perl.
Perl is occasionally referenced as 'Practical Extraction and Reporting Language' but it did not derive its name from this.
Perl was first release in 1987 to the comp.sources.misc newsgroup, Perl 2 was released in 1988, Perl 3 1989, Perl 4.0 in 1993 and Perl 5 was released in 1994. Perl 6 (a complete rewrite) is in current development.
The Camel associated with Perl was first introduced in 1991 with the release of O'Reilly's media 'Perl Programming' book, the picture of a Camel was on the front of the book.
The official site for Perl is www.perl.org from this site you can obtain the source code, documentation and lots of additional Perl modules.